Definition of licentious in English:

licentious

Syllabification: li·cen·tious
Pronunciation: /līˈsenSHəs
 
/

adjective

1Promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters.
More example sentences
  • World famous, he is also a great womanizer, acknowledged as such by his colleagues, wife, and friends who themselves enjoy an entertainingly licentious social and sexual life.
  • The poet Philip Larkin noted that sexual intercourse began in 1963, but a long suppressed study has shown that Britain indulged in licentious behaviour long before the dawn of the permissive society, writes Tom Baird.
  • I myself visited a striptease establishment in the early 1970s and found the experience detumescent and soporific rather than conducive to licentious behaviour.
Synonyms
2 archaic Disregarding accepted rules or conventions, especially in grammar or literary style.
More example sentences
  • In Paris it was welcomed by a public with a strong appetite for the irreverent and licentious in literature, and probably for subversive ideas of any kind in philosophy and theology.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin licentiosus, from licentia 'freedom'.

Derivatives

licentiously

adverb
More example sentences
  • In it the hero Oliver laments: ‘Wouldn't it have been really better to live like Mario, not socially labelled, not insured or predestined, but irresponsibly, even licentiously, within the limits of kindness and honour?’
  • Perhaps no creature makes a better role model than these spotted animals, licentiously advertising their lust and hunger in wild howls and mad scratchings.
  • Several runners advanced across the field towards the keep, and he grinned licentiously.

licentiousness

noun
More example sentences
  • In Galatians 5: 19-21 the list is headed by sexual immorality, impurity, licentiousness, and idolatry.
  • Tiberius distinguished his reign by great indolence, excessive cruelty, unprincipled avarice, and abandoned licentiousness.
  • Default, unearned respect for culture breeds a decadent cultural licentiousness in which any amount of pretentious nonsense is encouraged and propagated.

Definition of licentious in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day hubris
Pronunciation: ˈhjuːbrɪs
noun
excessive pride or self-confidence