O.E. lust "desire, pleasure," from P.Gmc. *lustuz (cf. O.S., O.Fris., Du., Ger. lust, O.N. lyst, Goth. lustus "pleasure, desire, lust"), from PIE *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (cf. L. lascivus "wanton, playful, lustful;" see lascivious
). In M.E., "any source
of pleasure or delight," also "an appetite," also "a liking for a person," also "fertility" (of soil). Sense of "sinful sexual desire, degrading animal passion" (now the main meaning) developed in late O.E. from the word's use in Bible translations (e.g. lusts of the flesh to render L. concupiscentia carnis [I John ii 16]); in other Germanic languages, the cognate words tend to still mean simply "pleasure." The verb is first attested early 13c., "to please, delight;" sense of "to have a strong sexual desire (for or after)" is first attested 1520s in biblical use.