[ 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.

Origin of quodlibet

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin quodlibetum; compare Latin quod libet what pleases, as you please

Related forms

quod·li·bet·ic, quod·li·bet·i·cal, adjectivequod·li·bet·i·cl·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for quodlibetical


/ (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 Forms

quodlibetical, 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