lib·​er·​tin·​ism ˈli-bər-ˌtē-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce libertinism (audio)
: the quality or state of being libertine : the behavior of a libertine

Examples of libertinism in a Sentence

a group of urban bohemians who were better known for their libertinism than for their intellectualism even by the standards of ancient Rome, Caligula's reign was marked by a libertinism that went beyond the pale
Recent Examples on the Web Evil excited certain Surrealists who, for instance, celebrated the predatory libertinism of the Marquis de Sade. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 25 Oct. 2021 Sade, after all, viewed himself not just as a libertine, but as a philosopher of libertinism (one of his works was titled Philosophy in the Boudoir). Mitchell Abidor, The New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2020 Long before Christ, the same idea was shared by the European Renaissance, Sophocles, Themistocles, Socrates, Mozart, and Goethe, the quest for a refinement of emotion and libertinism. Bohumil Hrabal, Harper's magazine, 25 Nov. 2019 Yet Will’s own moment of libertinism is destined to pass into history at much the same time as Nantwich’s. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, 10 Oct. 2011 Others, following Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu, aim to make a virtue of Trump’s libertinism and cruelty, comparing him to Cyrus the Great, the Persian king, who is said to have paved the way for the Jewish exodus. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 21 June 2018 Christian liberty of this kind provided no excuse for libertinism. Joseph Loconte, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'libertinism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of libertinism was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near libertinism

Cite this Entry

“Libertinism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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