licentious

licentious, libertine, lewd, wanton, lustful, lascivious, libidinous, lecherous all suggest unchaste habits, especially in being given to or indicative of immorality in sex relations.
Licentious basically implies disregard of the restraints imposed by law or custom for the enforcement of chastity; the term stresses looseness of life and of habits rather than the imperiousness of one's desires
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licentious living

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licentious morals

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the precept that enjoins him abstinence forbids him none but the licentious joy, whose fruit, though fair, tempts only to destroy— Cooper

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an irreligious and licentious age had abetted depravity— Glasgow

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Libertine suggests a more open and a more habitual disregard of moral laws, especially those pertaining to the sex relations of men and women
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the frank libertine wit of their old stage— Gibbon

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he castigated the libertine lives of many of his generation

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by merely living together a couple is practicing libertine love—and the mere repetition doesn't, in some mysterious way, make it legal— Stone

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Lewd often carries strong connotations of grossness, vileness, and vulgarity which color its other implications of sensuality, dissoluteness, and unconcern for chastity. As a result it is applied less often than the preceding terms to persons, or to the manners, thoughts, and acts of persons, who retain in their immorality evidence of breeding, refinement, or gentility
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seen in the company of lewd women

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lewd songs

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lewd actions in public

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where dowdy women whispered lewd invitations from behind wooden shutters— Baum

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the whiskey had filled his body with a rosy sense of complete well-being, and vague lewd sensual images stroked his mind— Mailer

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Wanton (see also SUPEREROGATORY) implies moral irresponsibility or a disposition or way of life marked by indifference to moral restraints; it often suggests freedom from restraint comparable to that of animals, thereby connoting lightness, incapacity for faithfulness or seriousness, or a generally unmoral attitude
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wanton little creatures without character or depth of feeling— Nordhoff & Hall

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all this was done with a gay, and, as I said, a wanton disregard of the ill effects— Sir Winston Churchill

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so wanton, light and false, my love, are you, I am most faithless when I most am true— Millay

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Lustful implies the influence or the frequent incitement of desires, especially of strong and often unlawful sexual desires
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she took the greatest care of his health and comfort, and was faithful to him, not being naturally lustful except of power— Craves

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Lascivious, like lewd, definitely suggests sensuality, but it carries a clearer implication of an inclination to lustfulness or of a capacity for inciting lust
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lascivious desires

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lascivious thoughts

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lascivious glances

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lascivious dress

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tales that. . . are Rabelaisian in their coarseness and not . . . lasciviousSellery

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I have seen a nanny goat repel a lascivious and impatient old billy goat who was making advances— Putnam

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Libidinous and lecherous are the strongest of all these terms in their implications of deeply ingrained lustfulness and of debauchery.
Libidinous distinctively suggests a complete surrender to one's sexual desires
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a lewd youth . . . advances by degrees into a libidinous old man— Addison

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the Gauls indulged in libidinous orgies, in which sodomy played a part— Putnam

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Lecherous clearly implies habitual indulgence of one's lust, the term often being used when any of the others would seem too weak to express one's contempt
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remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!— Shak.

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boasted of his pornographic publications and his pornographic "library" and his own lecherous fornications— Shirer

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Analogous words: profligate, reprobate, dissolute, *abandoned: debauched, depraved, corrupted or corrupt (see under DEBASE): lax, *loose, relaxed: *immoral, unmoral, amoral
Antonyms: continent
Contrasted words: *chaste, decent, pure: *moral, virtuous: strict, *rigid: austere, ascetic, *severe

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Licentious — Li*cen tious ( sh[u^]s), a. [L. licentiosus: cf. F. licencieux. See {License}.] 1. Characterized by license; passing due bounds; excessive; abusive of freedom; wantonly offensive; as, a licentious press. [1913 Webster] A wit that no licentious… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • licentious — li·cen·tious /lī sen chəs/ adj: disregarding legal restraints esp. with regard to sexual relations arrested as a prostitute for licentious sexual intercourse li·cen·tious·ly adv li·cen·tious·ness n Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • licentious — morally unrestrained, 1530s, from M.L. licentiosus full of license, unrestrained, from L. licentia (see LICENSE (Cf. license)). Related: Licentiously; licentiousness …   Etymology dictionary

  • licentious — [adj] immoral, uncontrolled abandoned, amoral, animal, carnal, corrupt, debauched, depraved, desirous, disorderly, dissolute, fast, fast and loose*, fleshly, impure, incontinent, in the fast lane*, lascivious, lax, lecherous, lewd, libertine,… …   New thesaurus

  • licentious — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters. DERIVATIVES licentiously adverb licentiousness noun. ORIGIN Latin licentiosus, from licentia freedom …   English terms dictionary

  • licentious — [lī sen′shəs] adj. [L licentiosus < licentia: see LICENSE] 1. Rare disregarding accepted rules and standards 2. morally unrestrained, esp. in sexual activity; lascivious licentiously adv. licentiousness n …   English World dictionary

  • licentious — In contrast with the person suffering from akrasia, who feels the conflict yet succumbs to temptation, the licentious person is supposed to feel no conflict at all between low desire and the promptings of a better self or a higher reason. The… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • licentious — [[t]laɪse̱ntʃəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you describe a person as licentious, you mean that they are very immoral, especially in their sexual behaviour. [FORMAL] ...alarming stories of licentious behaviour. Derived words: licentiousness N …   English dictionary

  • licentious — adjective a book that exaggerates the licentious behavior of the rich and famous Syn: dissolute, dissipated, debauched, degenerate, immoral, naughty, wanton, decadent, depraved, sinful, corrupt; lustful, lecherous, lascivious, libidinous,… …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • licentious — adjective Etymology: Latin licentiosus, from licentia Date: 1535 1. lacking legal or moral restraints; especially disregarding sexual restraints 2. marked by disregard for strict rules of correctness • licentiously adverb • licentiousness noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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