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[rep-ruh-beyt] /ˈrɛp rəˌbeɪt/
a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person:
a drunken reprobate.
a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.
morally depraved; unprincipled; bad.
rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.
verb (used with object), reprobated, reprobating.
to disapprove, condemn, or censure.
(of God) to reject (a person), as for sin; exclude from the number of the elect or from salvation.
Origin of reprobate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English reprobaten < Latin reprobātus; past participle of reprobāre to reprove
Related forms
[rep-ruh-buh-see] /ˈrɛp rə bə si/ (Show IPA),
reprobateness, noun
reprobater, noun
unreprobated, adjective
1. tramp, scoundrel, wastrel, miscreant, wretch, rascal, cad, rogue. 2. outcast, pariah. 3. wicked, sinful, evil, corrupt. 5. reprehend, blame, rebuke, reprove. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for reprobate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus we frequently respect or reprobate a book without a perusal, merely on account of the Author's name.

  • "Come out and show me this reprobate," said the husband, rising.

    The Wreck of the Titan Morgan Robertson
  • Alice would not condescend to join her reprobate brother, even in abuse of Adela.

    Demos George Gissing
  • A heap of ashes, he said, was the only fit place for such a reprobate as he had been.

    Richard I Jacob Abbott
  • Fresh from his confession to Beilski, it was necessary that he should reprobate all fellow traitors.

    The Intriguers William Le Queux
  • Don't you know that he's a swindler, a reprobate, a penniless adventurer?

    The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
  • Even the elect are in themselves as badly off as the reprobate, and are equally included under sin.

    Bunyan James Anthony Froude
  • The bamboo was ineffectual to cane that reprobate's bad courses out of him.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The old Duke appears to have been rather a reprobate, but whether he profited by Joan's advice does not appear.

    Joan of Arc Ronald Sutherland Gower
British Dictionary definitions for reprobate


morally unprincipled; depraved
(Christianity) destined or condemned to eternal punishment in hell
an unprincipled, depraved, or damned person
a disreputable or roguish person: the old reprobate
verb (transitive)
to disapprove of; condemn
(of God) to destine, consign, or condemn to eternal punishment in hell
Derived Forms
reprobacy (ˈrɛprəbəsɪ) noun
reprobater, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin reprobātus held in disfavour, from Latin re- + probāre to approve1
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 reprobate

early 15c., "rejected as worthless," from Late Latin reprobatus, past participle of reprobare "disapprove, reject, condemn," from Latin re- "opposite of, reversal of previous condition" (see re-) + probare "prove to be worthy" (see probate (n.)). Earliest form of the word in English was a verb, meaning "to disapprove" (early 15c.).


1540s, "one rejected by God," from reprobate (adj.). Sense of "abandoned or unprincipled person" is from 1590s.

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

that which is rejected on account of its own worthlessness (Jer. 6:30; Heb. 6:8; Gr. adokimos, "rejected"). This word is also used with reference to persons cast away or rejected because they have failed to make use of opportunities offered them (1 Cor. 9:27; 2 Cor. 13:5-7).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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