Tom Jones

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After the title character in The History of Tom Jones, written by Henry Fielding and published in 1749; now perhaps also influenced by the Welsh singer of the same name and similar reputation.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌtɒm ˈdʒəʊnz/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌtɑm ˈdʒoʊnz/
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Tom Jones (plural Tom Joneses)

  1. (rare) A desirable man of loose morals, prone to having sex with many women.
    • 1909, Jerome K. Jerome, chapter X, in They and I:
      All men are not Tom Joneses. The standard of masculine behaviour continues to go up: many of us make fine efforts to conform to it, and some of us succeed. But the Tom Jones is there in all of us who are not anaemic or consumptive.
    • 1992, Barenaked Ladies, "The King of Bedside Manor", Gordon
      You know he's not the king of Bedside Manor.
      He's not the Tom Jones who lives next door.

Usage notes[edit]

The nearest synonyms (casanova, Don Juan, etc.) typically carry a connotation of actively seducing women. By contrast, a Tom Jones attracts women passively with his personal qualities, then gives in to the temptation to bed them.