Word of the Day Archive
Friday February 22, 2008
dissolute \DIS-uh-loot\ , adjective:
Loose in morals and conduct; marked by indulgence in sensual pleasures or vices.
I had heard talk that Tosca, for all the dissolute life she led, was a pious person who frequented churches with scrupulous regularity, yet in this conduct I had always suspected a pose, an affectation.
-- Paola Capriolo, Floria Tosca (translated by Liz Heron)
In 1788 . . . George III succumbed to the first attack of madness, the violent symptoms of which required the appointment of his oldest son, the Prince of Wales, as Regent. The King regained his reason the following year and resumed power, but already the high living "Prinnie" and his dissolute friends had changed the tone of the court.
-- Benita Eisler, Byron: Child of Passion, Fool of Fame
Dissolute comes from the past participle of Latin dissolvere, "to loosen," from dis- + solvere, "to release."