[lib-er-teen, -tin]


a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained, especially a dissolute man; a profligate; rake.
a freethinker in religious matters.
a person freed from slavery in ancient Rome.


free of moral, especially sexual, restraint; dissolute; licentious.
freethinking in religious matters.
Archaic. unrestrained; uncontrolled.

Nearby words

  1. liberius,
  2. libero,
  3. libertarian,
  4. libertas,
  5. liberticide,
  6. libertinism,
  7. liberty,
  8. liberty bell,
  9. liberty bodice,
  10. liberty bond

Origin of libertine

1350–1400; Middle English libertyn < Latin lībertīnus of a freedman (adj.), freedman (noun), equivalent to lībert(us) freedman (apparently by reanalysis of liber-tās liberty as libert-ās) + -īnus -ine1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for libertine

British Dictionary definitions for libertine



a morally dissolute person


morally dissolute
Derived Formslibertinage or libertinism, noun

Word Origin for libertine

C14 (in the sense: freedman, dissolute person): from Latin lībertīnus freedman, from lībertus freed, from līber free

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 libertine



late 14c., "a freedman, an emancipated slave," from Latin libertinus "member of a class of freedmen," from libertus "one's freedmen," from liber "free" (see liberal). Sense of "freethinker" is first recorded 1560s, from French libertin (1540s) originally the name given to certain Protestant sects in France and the Low Countries. Meaning "dissolute or licentious person" first recorded 1590s; the darkening of meaning being perhaps due to misunderstanding of Latin libertinus in Acts vi:9. As an adjective by 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper