9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[prof-li-git, -geyt] /ˈprɒf lɪ gɪt, -ˌgeɪt/
utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute.
recklessly prodigal or extravagant.
a profligate person.
Origin of profligate
1525-35; < Latin prōflīgātus broken down in character, degraded, orig. past participle of prōflīgāre to shatter, debase, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -flīgāre, derivative of flīgere to strike; see inflict, -ate1
Related forms
profligately, adverb
profligateness, noun
1. abandoned, licentious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for profligate
  • The curse of broadcast technologies is that they are profligate users of limited resources.
  • It's easy to dismiss people who would bankroll these projects as profligate spend-alls.
  • They are pleased by his judicial appointments but mystified by his profligate spending.
  • The writer so wary of self-indulgence was profligate with ink and paper.
  • Chimps are clearly not as profligate now because of human encroachment brought about by social evolution.
  • Even when he was castigating himself for profligate spending, he was compiling long shopping lists of articles de luxe.
  • The more the company spends, the more it makes, so it pays to be profligate.
  • It's not pretty, but unfortunately for profligate governments, push has come to shove.
  • It doesn't matter if you are a profligate spender or an industrious saver.
  • Voters in the donor country would be outraged if the rewards of their thrift were used to rescue the profligate.
British Dictionary definitions for profligate


shamelessly immoral or debauched
wildly extravagant or wasteful
a profligate person
Derived Forms
profligacy (ˈprɒflɪɡəsɪ) noun
profligately, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin prōflīgātus corrupt, from prōflīgāre to overthrow, from pro-1 + flīgere to beat
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
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Word Origin and History for profligate

1520s, "overthrown, routed" (now obsolete in this sense), from Latin profligatus "destroyed, ruined, corrupt, abandoned, dissolute," past participle of profligare "to cast down, defeat, ruin," from pro- "down, forth" (see pro-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict). Main modern meaning "recklessly extravagant" is 1779, via notion of "ruined by vice" (1640s, implied in a use of profligation). Related: Profligately. As a noun from 1709.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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