Etymology
Advertisement
licentious (adj.)

"morally unrestrained," 1530s, from Medieval Latin licentiosus "full of licence, unrestrained," from Latin licentia "freedom, liberty," in both a good and bad sense (see licence (n.)). Related: Licentiously; licentiousness.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
libertine (adj.)
1570s, "free, unrestrained," originally in religion, from libertine (adj.). Meaning "licentious, dissolute" is from c. 1600.
Related entries & more 
Messalina 

"scheming, licentious, sexually voracious woman," by 1795, in reference to Valeria Messalina (died 48 C.E.), notorious third wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, long a figure of vanity and immorality.

Related entries & more 
reveler (n.)

also reveller, late 14c., revelour, "one who indulges in revels, one who takes part in merry-making," hence also "one who leads a disorderly or licentious life," from Old French revelour, agent noun from reveler "be disorderly; make merry" (see revel (v.)).

Related entries & more 
dissolute (adj.)

late 14c., "loose, negligent, morally or religiously lax," from Latin dissolutus "loose, disconnected; careless; licentious," past participle of dissolvere "loosen up" (see dissolve). A figurative use in classical Latin; the etymological sense "disrupted, severed" (early 15c.) is rare in English. Related: Dissolutely; dissoluteness.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Cyprian (adj.)

1620s, "of Cyprus," from Latin Cyprianus, from Cyprius, from Greek Kyprios (see Cyprus). The island was famous in ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite and for erotic worship rituals offered to her there; hence Cyprian also meant "pertaining to Aphrodite," and "licentious, lewd," which is the earliest attested sense in English (1590s), and was applied 18c.-19c. to prostitutes.

Related entries & more 
perfidy (n.)

"breach of faith or trust, base treachery," 1590s, from French perfidie (16c.), from Latin perfidia "faithlessness, falsehood, treachery," from perfidus "faithless," from phrase per fidem decipere "to deceive through trustingness," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + fidem (nominative fides) "faith" (from PIE root *bheidh- "to trust, confide, persuade").

[C]ombinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practiced perfidy grow faithless to each other. [Samuel Johnson, "Life of Waller"]
Related entries & more 
orgy (n.)

1560s, orgies (plural) "secret rites or ceremonies in the worship of certain Greek and Roman gods," especially Dionysus, from French orgies (c. 1500, from Latin orgia), and directly from Greek orgia (plural) "secret rites," especially those of Bacchus. This is traditionally considered a derivative of the root of ergon "work, activity" (from PIE root *werg- "to do"), but perhaps it is a foreign word. The singular was rare in Latin and Greek; in English, orgy was first used 1660s, in the extended sense of "any licentious revelry, a wild carousal." OED says of the ancient rites that they were "celebrated with extravagant dancing, singing, drinking, etc.," which gives "etc." quite a workout.

Related entries & more 
smell (v.)
late 12c., "emit or perceive an odor," not found in Old English, perhaps cognate with Middle Dutch smolen, Low German smelen "to smolder" (see smolder). However, OED says "no doubt of Old English origin, but not recorded, and not represented in any of the cognate languages." Related: Smelled or smelt; smelling.

Smelling salts (1840), used to revive the woozy, typically were a scented preparation of carbonate of ammonia. Smell-feast (n.) "one who finds and frequents good tables, one who scents out where free food is to be had" is from 1510s ("very common" c. 1540-1700, OED). Smell-smock "licentious man" was in use c. 1550-c. 1900. To smell a rat "be suspicious" is from 1540s.
Related entries & more 
peccadillo (n.)

"slight sin, petty crime or fault," 1590s (earlier in corrupt form peccadilian, 1520s), from Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado "a sin," from Latin peccatum "a sin, fault, error," noun use of neuter past participle of peccare "to miss, mistake, make a mistake, do amiss; transgress, offend, be licentious, sin," a word of uncertain origin.

Watkins traces it to PIE *ped-ko-, suffixed form of *ped- "to walk, stumble, impair," from root *ped- "foot." But de Vaan is suspicious: "there is no reference to feet in the meaning of peccare. And to 'make a faux pas' ... would hardly be rendered by the word for 'foot', but rather by 'walking.' " He finds a derivation from the root *pet- "to fall" via *pet-ko- "a fall, error" to be "better semantically, but the addition of *-ko- to the bare root seems strange."

Related entries & more