lo·​thar·​io lō-ˈther-ē-ˌō How to pronounce lothario (audio) -ˈthär- How to pronounce lothario (audio)
plural lotharios
often capitalized
: a man whose chief interest is seducing women

Did you know?

Lothario comes from The Fair Penitent (1703), a tragedy by Nicholas Rowe. In the play, Lothario is a notorious seducer, extremely attractive but a haughty and unfeeling scoundrel beneath his charming exterior. He seduces Calista, an unfaithful wife and later the fair penitent of the title. After the play was published, the character of Lothario became a stock figure in English literature. For example, Samuel Richardson modeled the character of Lovelace on Lothario in his 1748 novel Clarissa. As the character became well known, his name became progressively more generic, and lothario (often capitalized) has since been used to describe a foppish, unscrupulous rake.

Examples of lothario in a Sentence

a novel about the loveless existence of an aging lothario
Recent Examples on the Web His previous roles include playing a lothario in the acclaimed 1966 feature Alfie. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Sep. 2023 Place’s loving but irresolutely uncommunicative momma sends mixed signals to a daughter who just wants to run around the mall and gawk at boys with her friends, but instead runs into a sinister lothario played by Treat Williams. Nicholas Bell, SPIN, 12 May 2023 Nearly every species includes lotharios (of both sexes) that sneak around doing their best to hide their gallivanting from their social partners. David P. Barash, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2023 For a solid decade, the U.K. contributed some of the most iconic floppy-haired lotharios, airport dashes and front-door confessions in romcom history. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 23 Feb. 2023 Opening the concert, Nánási tore into the Strauss as if the legendary lothario had double-dipped in his testosterone pills, and added some uppers. Dallas News, 26 Mar. 2022 Notably, the Tinder lothario was banned from multiple dating apps. Ashley Shannon Wu, Vulture, 2 Mar. 2022 The serial lothario is dating model/actress Emily Ratajkowski. Nardine Saadstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 Beatty, now 85, has long had a reputation as a lothario whose romantic entanglements have at times overshadowed his acting career. CBS News, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Lothario, seducer in the play The Fair Penitent (1703) by Nicholas Rowe

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lothario was in 1756


Dictionary Entries Near lothario

Cite this Entry

“Lothario.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lothario. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

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