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profligate Syllabification: prof·li·gate
Pronunciation: /ˈpräfləɡət/

Definition of profligate in English:


1Recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources: profligate consumers of energy
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the extent of the downswing will be proportional to boom-time excesses, and the profligate consumer sector will be forced to retrench.
  • Dismissing conservation as a low priority is dangerous in that it will encourage a profligate use of natural resources and a lack of concern about the current human destruction of the Earth.
  • Manifestly, America's bubble economy of the late 1990s had its center in the most profligate consumer borrowing and spending binge in history.
1.1Licentious; dissolute: he succumbed to drink and a profligate lifestyle
More example sentences
  • The recent support for the party of Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands has failed to quell the spirit of profligate immorality endemic to that country.
  • In Northern Europe, they'll deny you a discharge if they think you ran up the original debt in a profligate or immoral fashion.


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A licentious, dissolute person.
Example sentences
  • It was believed Germans were afraid of pooling their successful monetary sovereignty with putative profligates such as, perhaps, Italy.
  • The profligates that biologists call stem cells have their own secret for staying young: run away and hide in a place far from the machinations of transcription factors with an eye on your genes.
  • White, blue, purple, and scarlet were the colors of the gods, priests, profligates, saints and monarchs, either in combination or singularly.
libertine, debauchee, degenerate, dissolute, roué, rake, sybarite, voluptuary


Pronunciation: /ˈpräfləɡətlē/
Example sentences
  • They are profligately displaying their power, including the power to abuse the House's tenuous-at-best policing of itself.
  • When others consume profligately, it can actually harm society.
  • He chose movie scripts profligately, appearing in lousy films just to earn money for his expensive enthusiasms.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'overthrown, routed'): from Latin profligatus 'dissolute', past participle of profligare 'overthrow, ruin', from pro- 'forward, down' + fligere 'strike down'.

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