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[luh-siv-ee-uh s] /ləˈsɪv i əs/
inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd:
a lascivious, girl-chasing old man.
arousing sexual desire:
lascivious photographs.
indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness:
a lascivious gesture.
Origin of lascivious
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin lascīvi(a) playfulness, wantonness (lascīv(us) playful, wanton + -ia -ia) + -ous
Related forms
lasciviously, adverb
lasciviousness, noun
overlascivious, adjective
overlasciviously, adverb
overlasciviousness, noun
Can be confused
lascivious, licentious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for lascivious
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He might degrade Marcolina by mockery and lascivious phrases, full of innuendo.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • But you sha'n't say nor do your lascivious tricks before me, I warrant you.

  • Had not the stage lowered music to the position of a lascivious handmaiden?

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
  • Admit that it is not lascivious; who will pretend that it is essentially graceful?

    Glances at Europe Horace Greeley
  • They were celebrated by courtesans with processions, lascivious pantomimes, etc.


    William Graham Sumner
British Dictionary definitions for lascivious


lustful; lecherous
exciting sexual desire
Derived Forms
lasciviously, adverb
lasciviousness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin lascīviōsus, from Latin lascīvia wantonness, from lascīvus
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 lascivious

mid-15c., from Middle French lascivieux or directly from Late Latin lasciviosus (used in a scolding sense by Isidore and other early Church writers), from Latin lascivia "lewdness, playfulness, frolicsomeness, jolity," from lascivus "lewd, playful, frolicsome, wanton," from PIE *las-ko-, from *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (cf. Sanskrit -lasati "yearns," lasati "plays, frolics," Hittite ilaliya- "to desire, covet," Greek laste "harlot," Old Church Slavonic laska "flattery," Slovak laska "love," Old Irish lainn "greedy," Gothic lustus, Old English lust "lust"). Related: Lasciviously; lasciviousness. In 17c. also with a verbal form, lasciviate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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