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[lib-er-teen, -tin] /ˈlɪb ərˌtin, -tɪn/
a person who is morally or sexually unrestrained, especially a dissolute man; a profligate; rake.
a freethinker in religious matters.
a person freed from slavery in ancient Rome.
free of moral, especially sexual, restraint; dissolute; licentious.
freethinking in religious matters.
Archaic. unrestrained; uncontrolled.
Origin of libertine
1350-1400; Middle English libertyn < Latin lībertīnus of a freedman (adj.), freedman (noun), equivalent to lībert(us) freedman (apparently by reanalysis of liber-tās liberty as libert-ās) + -īnus -ine1
1. roué, debauchee, lecher, sensualist. 4. amoral, sensual, lascivious, lewd.
1. prude. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for libertine
  • There was an especial article in the law which opened wide the door to libertine husbands and debauched wives.
  • The drummer is commonly a chartered libertine in the way of conversation.
  • In the bat world, it seems that you do not have to be cleverer to be a libertine than to be a faithful husband.
  • Cue: lighting, thunder and a cavalcade of libertine equestrians.
  • His furtive bravado and reputation as a libertine lend him a personal magnetism that sets him apart from everyone else.
  • He took away comedy from behind the fine lady's alcove, or the screen where the libertine was watching her.
  • They belonged to a well-established libertine tradition.
British Dictionary definitions for libertine


/ˈlɪbəˌtiːn; -ˌtaɪn/
a morally dissolute person
morally dissolute
Derived Forms
libertinage, libertinism, noun
Word Origin
C14 (in the sense: freedman, dissolute person): from Latin lībertīnus freedman, from lībertus freed, from līber free
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for libertine

late 14c., "a freedman, an emancipated slave," from Latin libertinus "member of a class of freedmen," from libertus "one's freedmen," from liber "free" (see liberal). Sense of "freethinker" is first recorded 1560s, from French libertin (1540s) originally the name given to certain Protestant sects in France and the Low Countries. Meaning "dissolute or licentious person" first recorded 1590s; the darkening of meaning being perhaps due to misunderstanding of Latin libertinus in Acts vi:9. As an adjective by 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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libertine in the Bible

found only Acts 6:9, one who once had been a slave, but who had been set at liberty, or the child of such a person. In this case the name probably denotes those descendants of Jews who had been carried captives to Rome as prisoners of war by Pompey and other Roman generals in the Syrian wars, and had afterwards been liberated. In A.D. 19 these manumitted Jews were banished from Rome. Many of them found their way to Jerusalem, and there established a synagogue.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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