characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, especially having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis.
consisting of parts, elements, or individuals of different kinds brought together without order.
indiscriminate; without discrimination.
casual; irregular; haphazard.

Origin of promiscuous

1595–1605; < Latin prōmiscuus mixed up, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + misc(ēre) to mix + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -ous
Related formspro·mis·cu·ous·ly, adverbpro·mis·cu·ous·ness, nounhy·per·pro·mis·cu·ous, adjectivehy·per·pro·mis·cu·ous·ly, adverbhy·per·pro·mis·cu·ous·ness, nounnon·pro·mis·cu·ous, adjectivenon·pro·mis·cu·ous·ly, adverbnon·pro·mis·cu·ous·ness, nounun·pro·mis·cu·ous, adjectiveun·pro·mis·cu·ous·ly, adverbun·pro·mis·cu·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for promiscuous

1. unchaste. 2. hodgepodge, confused, mixed, jumbled. See miscellaneous. 3. careless.

Antonyms for promiscuous

1, 2. pure. 3. selective. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for promiscuous

Contemporary Examples of promiscuous

Historical Examples of promiscuous

  • Camille was there, dispensing its promiscuous hospitality to men who ate like pigs.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • It is lawful for the body to have its desires and its loves, but not to be promiscuous and unfaithful.

    The Golden Fountain

    Lilian Staveley

  • As to his relations with women, they appeared to have been promiscuous but superficial.

  • But this is all promiscuous: I an't talkin of the survants now, but the masters.

    Memoirs of Mr. Charles J. Yellowplush

    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • “I take all the risks, I take all the risks,” the editor of the Promiscuous repeated.

British Dictionary definitions for promiscuous



indulging in casual and indiscriminate sexual relationships
consisting of a number of dissimilar parts or elements mingled in a confused or indiscriminate manner
indiscriminate in selection
casual or heedless
Derived Formspromiscuously, adverbpromiscuousness, noun

Word Origin for promiscuous

C17: from Latin prōmiscuus indiscriminate, from pro- 1 + miscēre to mix
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 promiscuous

c.1600, people or things, "mingled confusedly, grouped together without order, consisting of a disorderly mix; indiscriminate," from Latin promiscuus "mixed, indiscriminate, in common, without distinction," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + miscere "to mix" (see mix (v.)). Meaning "indiscriminate in sexual relations" recorded by 1857, from promiscuity. The Latin adjective was used with conubia (e.g. between patricians and plebeians). Related: Promiscuously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper