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[dis-uh-loot] /ˈdɪs əˌlut/
indifferent to moral restraints; given to immoral or improper conduct; licentious; dissipated.
Origin of dissolute
1350-1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin dissolūtus (past participle of dissolvere to dissolve). See dis-1, solute
Related forms
dissolutely, adverb
dissoluteness, noun
undissolute, adjective
Can be confused
desolate, dissolute (see synonym study at desolate)
corrupt, loose, debauched, wanton, abandoned. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dissolute
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It sent him off in a rage, with all his crew of dissolute followers.

  • Badman continues a loose blackguard, extravagant, idle and dissolute.


    James Anthony Froude
  • He was accused of dissolute conduct, and was superseded in his office by Du Poizat.

    A Zola Dictionary J. G. Patterson
  • The worst was, that the dissolute life he led grievously affected the business.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • The dissolute men who have written verses have not been great poets.

  • She was so convinced that I was "dissolute," because of my class—as an earl's grandson.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • Those were the days when Dawson might fitly have been called the dissolute.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • Anjou is, from all accounts, reckless and dissolute; and Alencon is sickly.

British Dictionary definitions for dissolute


given to dissipation; debauched
Derived Forms
dissolutely, adverb
dissoluteness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin dissolūtus loose, from dissolvere to dissolve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dissolute

late 14c., "loose, negligent, morally or religiously lax," from Latin dissolutus "loose, disconnected," past participle of dissolvere "loosen up" (see dissolve). A figurative use of the classical Latin word. Related: Dissolutely; dissoluteness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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