a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person: a drunken reprobate.
a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.


morally depraved; unprincipled; bad.
rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.

verb (used with object), rep·ro·bat·ed, rep·ro·bat·ing.

to disapprove, condemn, or censure.
(of God) to reject (a person), as for sin; exclude from the number of the elect or from salvation.

Origin of reprobate

1400–50; late Middle English reprobaten < Latin reprobātus; past participle of reprobāre to reprove
Related formsrep·ro·ba·cy [rep-ruh-buh-see] /ˈrɛp rə bə si/, rep·ro·bate·ness, nounrep·ro·bat·er, nounun·rep·ro·bat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for reprobate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reprobate

Contemporary Examples of reprobate

  • Afterward, there is rarely satisfaction, just final proof that Johnny Flameout is a reprobate.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Cavalcade of Bad Boy Flameouts

    Eric Dezenhall

    March 4, 2011

Historical Examples of reprobate

  • There was an awful cause for that sudden start, that look of horror in the reprobate's face.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • He looked at the reprobate's face for some moments and said nothing.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • The reprobate made no answer to this; but he turned his face away and sighed.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • This man was a reprobate; but he had begun life as a gentleman.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • A reprobate may be sorry for his sins, he may repent and lead a good life.


    James Anthony Froude

British Dictionary definitions for reprobate



morally unprincipled; depraved
Christianity destined or condemned to eternal punishment in hell


an unprincipled, depraved, or damned person
a disreputable or roguish personthe old reprobate

verb (tr)

to disapprove of; condemn
(of God) to destine, consign, or condemn to eternal punishment in hell
Derived Formsreprobacy (ˈrɛprəbəsɪ), nounreprobater, noun

Word Origin for reprobate

C16: from Late Latin reprobātus held in disfavour, from Latin re- + probāre to approve 1
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 reprobate

early 15c., "rejected as worthless," from Late Latin reprobatus, past participle of reprobare "disapprove, reject, condemn," from Latin re- "opposite of, reversal of previous condition" (see re-) + probare "prove to be worthy" (see probate (n.)). Earliest form of the word in English was a verb, meaning "to disapprove" (early 15c.).


1540s, "one rejected by God," from reprobate (adj.). Sense of "abandoned or unprincipled person" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper