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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce licentious (audio)

Dictionary definition of licentious

Sexually promiscuous, morally unrestrained, or lacking in self-control.
"The society of that era was quite licentious, with little moral restraint."

Detailed meaning of licentious

It is often used to describe someone who engages in activities that are considered immoral, such as adultery, fornication, or excessive drinking. The term can also refer to someone who lacks self-discipline or restraint, and who indulges in impulsive or reckless behavior. When something is described as licentious, it implies a lack of adherence to societal norms or moral standards, and a disregard for the consequences of one's actions. While licentious behavior can be seen as a form of rebellion or liberation, it can also be viewed as irresponsible or dangerous. Overall, licentious is a term used to describe behavior that is sexually or morally unrestrained, and lacks self-control or discipline.

Example sentences containing licentious

1. His licentious lifestyle was a constant source of scandal.
2. The licentious behavior at the party shocked the guests.
3. She was known for her licentious affairs and indiscretions.
4. The novel was criticized for its licentious content.
5. His licentious desires led him down a dark path.
6. The film depicted a world of licentious debauchery.

History and etymology of licentious

The adjective 'licentious' has its roots in Latin, stemming from 'licentiosus,' which is derived from 'licentia,' meaning 'freedom' or 'license.' In ancient Rome, 'licentiosus' was used to describe individuals who indulged in behavior that was considered excessive, unrestrained, or even immoral, often under the guise of their personal freedom. Over time, in English, 'licentious' evolved to describe people or actions that are sexually promiscuous, morally unrestrained, or lacking in self-control. The etymology of 'licentious' underscores the historical association between the idea of freedom or license and behavior that goes beyond accepted social or moral boundaries, emphasizing the indulgent and unrestrained nature of such conduct.

Quiz: Find the meaning of licentious

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Further usage examples of licentious

1. She accused him of leading a licentious double life.
2. The licentious conduct of the celebrity was widely publicized.
3. The scandal revealed the depths of his licentious behavior.
4. The city's underground clubs were known for their licentious atmosphere.
5. His licentious remarks made those around him uncomfortable.
6. The novel explored the consequences of licentious choices.
7. She condemned the licentious behavior of the elite.
8. The scandalous photos exposed his licentious adventures.
9. The historical figure was infamous for his licentious escapades.
10. The movie portrayed the licentious excesses of the era.
11. She distanced herself from the licentious lifestyle of her peers.
12. The play was criticized for its licentious themes.
13. His licentious affairs were the talk of the town.
14. The novel offered a glimpse into the licentious world of the aristocracy.
15. The city's nightlife was known for its licentious behavior.
16. His behavior at the party was licentious and unacceptable.
17. The play was criticized for its licentious content and themes.
18. His reputation as a licentious man was well known in the community.
19. He is licentious man who has no regard for morality or the law.
20. The artist's work was seen as licentious and controversial.
21. The regime was known for its licentious and corrupt leaders.
22. She was labeled as licentious for her relationships and lifestyle choices
23. The song lyrics were deemed licentious by the censors.
24. He had a licentious attitude, disregarding all rules and consequences
25. The government was criticized for its licentious policies
26. The club was known for its licentious atmosphere and wild parties.


lewd, chaste, moral, virtuous


GRE 14 (Graduate Record Examination), Discipline and Self-Control, Enjoyment and Indulgence, Recklessness and Indulgence

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