- 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.
Origin of quodlibet
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin quodlibetum; compare Latin quod libet what pleases, as you please
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for quodlibet
The climax was reached in the quodlibet, when all joined in a sort of comic chorus.Sebastian Bach
Reginald Lane Poole
Sebastian Bach—The clan feeling—A sixteenth century quodlibet.Bach
Charles Francis Abdy Williams
The old family seat of the Flams is about two miles from Quodlibet.
A change had also taken place in the business affairs of Quodlibet.
Every one in Quodlibet supposed that this stroke of the procession settled the matter.
- 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
C14: from Latin, from quod what + libet pleases, that is, whatever you like
Word Origin and History for quodlibet
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper