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[pruh-mis-kyoo-uh s] /prəˈmɪs kyu əs/
characterized by or involving indiscriminate mingling or association, especially having sexual relations with a number of partners on a casual basis.
consisting of parts, elements, or individuals of different kinds brought together without order.
indiscriminate; without discrimination.
casual; irregular; haphazard.
Origin of promiscuous
1595-1605; < Latin prōmiscuus mixed up, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + misc(ēre) to mix + -uus deverbal adj. suffix; see -ous
Related forms
promiscuously, adverb
promiscuousness, noun
hyperpromiscuous, adjective
hyperpromiscuously, adverb
hyperpromiscuousness, noun
nonpromiscuous, adjective
nonpromiscuously, adverb
nonpromiscuousness, noun
unpromiscuous, adjective
unpromiscuously, adverb
unpromiscuousness, noun
1. unchaste. 2. hodgepodge, confused, mixed, jumbled. See miscellaneous. 3. careless.
1, 2. pure. 3. selective. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for promiscuously
  • Both chimpanzees and bonobos mate promiscuously and this is why the males have large testes.
  • Everything about the ball culture signifies so blatantly and so promiscuously that the movie induces a kind of semiotic daze.
  • It's possible to demean oneself by sinking to the level of those who promiscuously accept any sort of apology.
  • And this is the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read.
  • In the case of bacteria, which seem to exchange genes promiscuously, that seems an excellent way of looking at things.
  • That, plus the worry that germs develop resistance to antibiotics that are used promiscuously.
  • In town things of a loose and movable nature were were scattered about promiscuously.
  • During this time, rumours about his crimes spread promiscuously.
  • The way of the world--our world--is to promiscuously propagate differences.
  • Even today, in our hype-drenched society, it is not used promiscuously.
British Dictionary definitions for promiscuously


indulging in casual and indiscriminate sexual relationships
consisting of a number of dissimilar parts or elements mingled in a confused or indiscriminate manner
indiscriminate in selection
casual or heedless
Derived Forms
promiscuously, adverb
promiscuousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin prōmiscuus indiscriminate, from pro-1 + miscēre to mix
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 promiscuously



c.1600, people or things, "mingled confusedly, grouped together without order, consisting of a disorderly mix; indiscriminate," from Latin promiscuus "mixed, indiscriminate, in common, without distinction," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + miscere "to mix" (see mix (v.)). Meaning "indiscriminate in sexual relations" recorded by 1857, from promiscuity. The Latin adjective was used with conubia (e.g. between patricians and plebeians). Related: Promiscuously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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