Definition of libertine
- libertines indulging a variety of amorous impulses
- —Mel White
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
libertines of the royal court
the legend of Don Juan depicts him as a playboy and libertine
The word libertine, which originally meant "freedman" when it appeared in 14th-century English, traces to the Latin libertus, a term that in Roman antiquity identified a slave who had been set free. By the late 1500s, "libertine" had been extended to religious and secular freethinkers; Shakespeare used it to refer to anyone who follows his or her own inclinations. By 1600, though, the term had come to imply that an individual was a little too unrestrained, especially in moral situations. And yes, the Latin root of "libertine" is "liber," the ultimate source of our word liberty.
: a person (especially a man) who leads an immoral life and is mainly interested in sexual pleasure
What made you want to look up libertine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
of yeast or being unsettled or frivolous
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