[ prof-li-git, -geyt ]
/ ˈprɒf lɪ gɪt, -ˌgeɪt /


utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute.
recklessly prodigal or extravagant.


a profligate person.

Nearby words

  1. profiteer,
  2. profiteering,
  3. profiterole,
  4. profitless,
  5. profligacy,
  6. profluent,
  7. proformiphen,
  8. profound,
  9. profoundly,
  10. profoundly deaf

Origin of profligate

1525–35; < Latin prōflīgātus broken down in character, degraded, orig. past participle of prōflīgāre to shatter, debase, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -flīgāre, derivative of flīgere to strike; see inflict, -ate1

Related formsprof·li·gate·ly, adverbprof·li·gate·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for profligate

British Dictionary definitions for profligate


/ (ˈprɒflɪɡɪt) /


shamelessly immoral or debauched
wildly extravagant or wasteful


a profligate person
Derived Formsprofligacy (ˈprɒflɪɡəsɪ), nounprofligately, adverb

Word Origin for profligate

C16: from Latin prōflīgātus corrupt, from prōflīgāre to overthrow, from pro- 1 + flīgere to beat

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 profligate



1520s, "overthrown, routed" (now obsolete in this sense), from Latin profligatus "destroyed, ruined, corrupt, abandoned, dissolute," past participle of profligare "to cast down, defeat, ruin," from pro- "down, forth" (see pro-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict). Main modern meaning "recklessly extravagant" is 1779, via notion of "ruined by vice" (1640s, implied in a use of profligation). Related: Profligately. As a noun from 1709.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper