ad libitum

ad li·​bi·​tum | \ (ˌ)ad-ˈli-bə-təm How to pronounce ad libitum (audio) \

Definition of ad libitum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: ad lib rats fed ad libitum

ad libitum


Definition of ad libitum (Entry 2 of 2)

: omissible according to a performer's wishes used as a direction in music — compare obbligato entry 1

Examples of ad libitum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Participants were then presented with an ad libitum meal. Julia Musto, Fox News, 29 Sep. 2021 The researchers found that, in the calorie restriction group, levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased significantly after one year, and that change was maintained at two years, while changes were very small in the ad libitum group. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ad libitum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ad libitum


1606, in the meaning defined above


1786, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ad libitum


borrowed from Medieval Latin, "in accordance with one's wishes"


after ad libitum entry 1

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Time Traveler for ad libitum

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The first known use of ad libitum was in 1606

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ad libitum

ad litem

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Cite this Entry

“Ad libitum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ad libitum

ad libitum

ad li·​bi·​tum | \ (ˈ)ad-ˈlib-ət-əm How to pronounce ad libitum (audio) \

Medical Definition of ad libitum

: ad lib

More from Merriam-Webster on ad libitum Encyclopedia article about ad libitum


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