libertine

noun
lib·​er·​tine | \ ˈli-bər-ˌtēn How to pronounce libertine (audio) \

Definition of libertine

1 disparaging : a freethinker especially in religious matters
2 : a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality specifically : one leading a dissolute life libertines indulging a variety of amorous impulses— Mel White

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from libertine

libertine adjective

Did You Know?

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.

Examples of libertine in a Sentence

libertines of the royal court the legend of Don Juan depicts him as a playboy and libertine

First Known Use of libertine

1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for libertine

Middle English libertyn freedman, from Latin libertinus, from libertinus, adjective, of a freedman, from libertus freedman, from liber — see liberal entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about libertine

Time Traveler for libertine

Time Traveler

The first known use of libertine was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about libertine

Statistics for libertine

Cite this Entry

“Libertine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/libertine. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for libertine

libertine

noun
How to pronounce libertine (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of libertine

literary : a person (especially a man) who leads an immoral life and is mainly interested in sexual pleasure

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on libertine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for libertine

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with libertine

Spanish Central: Translation of libertine

Nglish: Translation of libertine for Spanish Speakers

Comments on libertine

What made you want to look up libertine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!