noun, plural li·bi·dos.

Psychoanalysis. all of the instinctual energies and desires that are derived from the id.
sexual instinct or sexual drive.

Origin of libido

1890–95; < Latin libīdō desire, willfulness, lust, akin to libēre to be pleasing
Related formsli·bid·i·nal [li-bid-n-l] /lɪˈbɪd n l/, adjectiveli·bid·i·nal·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for libidinal

Contemporary Examples of libidinal

  • Sex and violence fuel the libidinal, careening, hugely popular teen vampire soap, now in its second season.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Inside the Vampire Diaries Craze

    Choire Sicha

    November 2, 2010

Historical Examples of libidinal

British Dictionary definitions for libidinal


noun plural -dos

psychoanal psychic energy emanating from the id
sexual urge or desire
Derived Formslibidinal (lɪˈbɪdɪnəl), adjectivelibidinally, adverb

Word Origin for libido

C20 (in psychoanalysis): from Latin: desire
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 libidinal

1922, in psychology jargon, from libido (Latin genitive libidinis) + -al (1).



"psychic drive or energy, usually associated with sexual instinct," 1892, carried over untranslated in English edition of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis"; and used in 1909 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud's "Selected Papers on Hysteria" (Freud's use of the term led to its popularity); from Latin libido "desire, lust," from libere "to be pleasing, to please," ultimately cognate with Old English lufu (see love (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

libidinal in Medicine


[lĭ-bēdō, -bī-]

n. pl. li•bi•dos

The psychic and emotional energy associated with instinctual biological drives.
Sexual desire.
Manifestation of the sexual drive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

libidinal in Culture



In Freudian psychology, the energy associated with the desires that come from the id.


Libido is loosely used to mean sexual desire.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.