See also: prostitutė and prostitutę


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Latin prōstitūtus, past participle of prōstituō, from prō̆ (for, before) +‎ statuō (to set up, to erect).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɒstɪtjuːt/, /ˈpɹɒstɪtʃuːt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɑːstətuːt/
  • (file)


prostitute (third-person singular simple present prostitutes, present participle prostituting, simple past and past participle prostituted)

  1. (transitive, reflexive) To offer (oneself or someone else) for sexual activity in exchange for money. [from 16th c.]
  2. (transitive, derogatory) To sacrifice (oneself, one's talents etc.) in return for profit or other advantage; to exploit for base purposes.
    • 1740, John Dyer, “The Ruins of Rome. A Poem.”, in Poems. [...] Viz. I. Grongar Hill. II. The Ruins of Rome. III. The Fleece, in Four Books, London: Printed by John Hughs, for Messrs. R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley, [], published 1759, →OCLC, pages 42–43:
      [T]heſe, their rights / In the vile ſtreets they proſtitute to ſale; / Their ancient rights, their dignities, their laws, / Their native glorious freedom.


Derived terms

Related terms



prostitute (comparative more prostitute, superlative most prostitute)

  1. (obsolete) Debased, corrupt; seeking personal gain by dishonourable means. [16th–19th c.]
    • 1791, Thomas Paine, Rights of Man:
      [H]e speaks a languages that merits not reply, and which can only excite contempt for his prostitute principles, or pity for his ignorance.
  2. Taking part in promiscuous sexual activity, licentious; (later, chiefly as attributive use of noun) that is a prostitute. [from 16th c.]
    • 2008, Niki Adams, Lisa Longstaff, The Guardian, letters, 23 February:
      They rightly say that attacks against prostitute women are common and that it's only when five are murdered in one place that it starts to provoke debate.
  3. (obsolete) Exposed, subjected (to something shameful). [16th–18th c.]
    • 1651, Thomas Hobbes, Philosophicall rudiments concerning government and society:
      As a matter of ease, exposed and prostitute to every Mother-wit, and to be attained without any great care or study.


prostitute (plural prostitutes)

  1. Any person (especially a woman) who has sexual intercourse or engages in other sexual activity for payment, especially as a means of livelihood. [from 18th c.]
    Synonyms: sex worker; see also Thesaurus:prostitute
    Hyponyms: see Thesaurus:prostitute
    1. A woman who has sexual intercourse or engages in other sexual activity for payment, especially as a means of livelihood. [from 17th c.]
      • 2012, Kelly Olson, Dress and the Roman Woman: Self-Presentation and Society, page 50:
        Unfortunately, there is to my knowledge no visual evidence for the dress of the Roman prostitute, but the literary sources present us with a range of prostitute clothing (from rich accoutrements all the way down to nothing), []
  2. A person who does, or offers to do, a demeaning or dishonourable activity for money or personal gain; someone who acts in a dishonourable way for personal advantage. [from 17th c.]
    Synonym: sellout
    • 2019 May 18, Jack Shepherd, quoting Bobby Gillespie, “Primal Scream frontman calls Madonna a 'total prostitute' for performing at Eurovision in Israel”, in The Independent[1]:
      Madonna would do anything for money, you know, she's a total prostitute. And I've got nothing against prostitutes.

Usage notes

  • Some speakers consider prostitutes (sex workers) to be female by default, and thus use "male prostitute" to refer to a man doing the same job.



  A user suggests that this English entry be cleaned up, giving the reason: “split by senses (any person / female person; possible move some incorrect translations to e.g. manwhore)”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) or the talk page for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.




  1. plural of prostituut



prostitute f

  1. plural of prostituta





  1. vocative masculine singular of prōstitūtus