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From Latin prōmiscuus (mixed, not separated), from prō (forth) + misceō (mix).


  • IPA(key): /pɹəˈmɪskjuːəs/
  • (file)


promiscuous (comparative more promiscuous, superlative most promiscuous)

  1. Made up of various disparate elements mixed together; of disorderly composition.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, ll. 379-80
      Came singly where he stood on the bare strand, / While the promiscuous croud stood yet aloof.
    • 1871–72, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Chapter 1
      they had both been educated [] on plans at once narrow and promiscuous, first in an English family and afterwards in a Swiss family at Lausanne, their bachelor uncle and guardian trying in this way to remedy the disadvantages of their orphaned condition.
  2. Made without careful choice; indiscriminate.
  3. (derogatory) Indiscriminate in choice of sexual partners, or having many sexual partners.
  4. (networking) The mode in which a NIC gathers all network traffic instead of getting only the traffic intended for it.


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