Skip to main content

Difference between Abandoned, Reprobate, Profligate and Dissolute

Abandoned, reprobate, profligate and dissolute all fundamentally mean utterly depraved.

What’s the difference?

Abandoned and reprobate were originally applied to sinners and to their acts.

One who is abandoned by his complete surrender to a life of sin seems spiritually lost or morally irreclaimable.

  • I remember downing a great deal of vodka and dancing in a rather abandoned fashion.

One who is reprobate is abandoned and therefore rejected by God or by his fellows; reprobate implies ostracism by or exclusion from a social group for a serious offense against its code.

  • Every time I see you, you’re drunk, you old reprobate!

Profligate and dissolute convey little if any suggestion of divine or social condemnation but both imply complete moral breakdown and self-indulgence to such an extreme that all standards of morality and prudence are disregarded.

One who is profligate openly and shamelessly flouts all the decencies and wastes his substance in dissipation.

  • In Northern Europe, they’ll deny you a discharge if they think you ran up the original debt in a profligate or immoral fashion.’

One who is dissolute has completely thrown off all moral and prudential restraints on the indulgence of his appetites.

  • He led a dissolute life, drinking, and womanizing till his death.