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Word of the Day
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Definitions for quodlibet

  1. a subtle or elaborate argument or point of debate, usually on a theological or scholastic subject.
  2. 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.

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Citations for quodlibet
And his majesty drove off, very much delighted with his last quodlibet upon the duke, whom he really hated. Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), The Memoirs of a Physician, translated 1910
The hexahemera of the fathers and the works of Albertus Magnus would be the text-books in natural science, while theology and philosophy would be nothing but a rehash of the quiddities and quodlibets of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. E. P. Evans, "Recent Recrudescence of Superstition," The Popular Science Monthly, October 1895
Origin of quodlibet
The Latin indefinite pronoun and adjective quodlibet is the neuter singular of quīlibet (also quīlubet) “who(m)/what it pleases, who(m)/what you like, whoever, whatever.” Latin libēre, lubēre “to be dear, be pleasing” is related to English love and to Slavic (Polish) lubić “to like, enjoy." By the 14th century, medieval scholars used the noun quodlibētum “whatever (subject or topic) you like,” as in disputātiō dē quodlibētō “a debate on any topic one likes.” Quodlibet entered English in the 14th century.