[luh-siv-ee-uh s]


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

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin lascīvi(a) playfulness, wantonness (lascīv(us) playful, wanton + -ia -ia) + -ous
Related formslas·civ·i·ous·ly, adverblas·civ·i·ous·ness, nouno·ver·las·civ·i·ous, adjectiveo·ver·las·civ·i·ous·ly, adverbo·ver·las·civ·i·ous·ness, noun
Can be confusedlascivious licentious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lascivious

Contemporary Examples of lascivious

Historical Examples of lascivious

  • 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?


    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 Formslasciviously, adverblasciviousness, noun

Word Origin for lascivious

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

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