Definition of libertine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlibərˌtēn/


1A person, especially a man, who behaves without moral principles or a sense of responsibility, especially in sexual matters.
Example sentences
  • The principal character is a delinquent libertine, Don Juan, who has killed Don Gonzalo, a military commander, in an unequal duel.
  • The tradition-bound father is reserved and tyrannical at home, but when he is away from home at night, he is a libertine - drinking and womanizing.
  • Her newly found manuscript shows that she thought he was a libertine who had set out to seduce her.
philanderer, playboy, rake, roué, Don Juan, Lothario, Casanova, Romeo;
lecher, seducer, womanizer, adulterer, debauchee, profligate, wanton
informal skirt-chaser, tomcat, horndog, ladykiller, lech, wolf
formal fornicator
2A person who rejects accepted opinions in matters of religion; a freethinker.
Example sentences
  • The same goes for gnostic Christianity, where we had the strict ascetics on the one hand and the extreme libertines on the other.
  • In the 1630s as well as the 1670s, Boston was inhabited by libertines as well as orthodox Puritans, but in the last quarter of the seventeenth century, town leaders feared that they were losing control.
  • Some libertines started claiming to have pacts with Satan, while still others said the devil himself presided over the soirées.


1Characterized by a disregard of morality, especially in sexual matters: his more libertine impulses
More example sentences
  • My friend graduated from photography school in New York, and, like many artists, plunged into a libertine lifestyle with more than a little enthusiasm.
  • Indeed, the health consequences of the libertine life-style are, when compared with the consequences of smoking, truly disastrous.
  • The fear is that conservative groups could use a clause in the Bill which limits the kind of sexual information that can be given to minors to wage war on the magazines' libertine approach to under-age sex.
2Freethinking in matters of religion.
Example sentences
  • For so long, many religious conservatives have fought for laws to be passed in the face of a culture that was very libertine and pro-choice.
  • I simply take this logic to its conclusion and point out that this woman's wanton and libertine approach to grace is the camel's nose under the tent.



Pronunciation: /ˈlibərˌtēnəj/
Example sentences
  • Yet the discussion of the family in the Philosophy of Right is in general more conservative and criticizes the emphasis on free love as leading to libertinage and promiscuity.
  • France, alas, also fails to live up to its reputation for libertinage.
  • Presumably, Sébastien has become what he is in part as a response to his father's libertinage.


Pronunciation: /ˈlibərˌtēˌnizəm/
Example sentences
  • We are being returned to the 18th century, that dissolute era of libertinism and lotteries.
  • There is more than a hint of hedonism, indeed a new libertinism.
  • Where such traditions are absent or weak, popular sovereignty easily turns into populist dictatorship, liberal democracy to libertinism and demagoguery.


Late Middle English (denoting a freed slave or the son of one): from Latin libertinus 'freedman', from liber 'free'. In the mid 16th century, imitating French libertin, the term denoted a member of any of various antinomian sects in France; hence sense 2 of the noun.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lib·er·tine

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