• synonyms


[ kwod-luh-bet ]
/ ˈkwɒd ləˌbɛt /


a subtle or elaborate argument or point of debate, usually on a theological or scholastic subject.
Music. a humorous composition consisting of two or more independent and harmonically complementary melodies, usually quotations of well-known tunes, played or sung together, usually to different texts, in a polyphonic arrangement.

Nearby words

quoad hoc, quod, quod erat demonstrandum, quod erat faciendum, quod vide, quodlibet, quoin, quoin post, quoit, quoits, quokka

Origin of quodlibet

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin quodlibetum; compare Latin quod libet what pleases, as you please
Related formsquod·li·bet·ic, quod·li·bet·i·cal, adjectivequod·li·bet·i·cl·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for quodlibet

British Dictionary definitions for quodlibet


/ (ˈkwɒdlɪˌbɛt) /


a light piece of music based on two or more popular tunes
a subtle argument, esp one prepared as an exercise on a theological topic
Derived Formsquodlibetical, adjectivequodlibetically, adverb

Word Origin for quodlibet

C14: from Latin, from quod what + libet pleases, that is, whatever you like
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 quodlibet



"a nicety, subtlety," late 14c., Latin, literally "what you will, what you please," from quod "what," neuter of qui (see who) + libet "it pleases" (see love (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper