sexually unrestrained; lascivious; libertine; lewd.
unrestrained by law or general morality; lawless; immoral.
going beyond customary or proper bounds or limits; disregarding rules.

Origin of licentious

First recorded in 1525–35, licentious is from the Latin word licentiōsus unrestrained. See license, -ous
Related formsli·cen·tious·ly, adverbli·cen·tious·ness, nounnon·li·cen·tious, adjectivenon·li·cen·tious·ly, adverbnon·li·cen·tious·ness, nouno·ver·li·cen·tious, adjectiveo·ver·li·cen·tious·ly, adverbo·ver·li·cen·tious·ness, nounun·li·cen·tious, adjectiveun·li·cen·tious·ly, adverbun·li·cen·tious·ness, noun
Can be confusedlascivious licentious

Synonyms for licentious

Antonyms for licentious

2. lawful. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for licentious

Contemporary Examples of licentious

Historical Examples of licentious

  • Or would you ascertain whether he is licentious by putting your wife or daughter into his hands?



  • Cicero was of low birth, and Metellus was the son of a licentious woman.

  • Query, Is this not encouraging the Inhabitants in their licentious and riotous disposition?

  • I refrained from expressing my abhorrence of that licentious doctrine because of my curiosity.

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • Heretical worship was of a most licentious as well as disgusting kind.

British Dictionary definitions for licentious



sexually unrestrained or promiscuous
rare showing disregard for convention
Derived Formslicentiously, adverblicentiousness, noun

Word Origin for licentious

C16: from Latin licentiōsus capricious, from licentia licence
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 licentious

"morally unrestrained," 1530s, from Medieval Latin licentiosus "full of license, unrestrained," from Latin licentia (see license). Related: Licentiously; licentiousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper