• synonyms


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


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


1, 2. pure. 3. selective.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for promiscuously


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

Word Origin

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 promiscuously



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper