profligate vs prodigal?

Are these two words exact synonyms or is there a difference in nuance/meaning? I've done a quick research on it and come across some blogs that say profligate carries a stronger meaning and is also associated with licentious behavior. Is this true? Thanks.
 
  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    From the WR Dictionary:

    prof•li•gate (profli git, -gāt′), adj.
    1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated;
      thoroughly dissolute.
    2. recklessly prodigal or extravagant.

    n.
    1. a profligate person.
    prodigal /ˈprɒdɪɡəl/adj
    1. recklessly wasteful or extravagant, as in disposing of goods or money
    2. lavish in giving or yielding: prodigal of compliments
    n
    1. a person who spends lavishly or squanders money
     
    From the WR Dictionary:

    prof•li•gate (profli git, -gāt′), adj.
    1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated;
      thoroughly dissolute.
    2. recklessly prodigal or extravagant.

    n.
    1. a profligate person.
    prodigal /ˈprɒdɪɡəl/adj
    1. recklessly wasteful or extravagant, as in disposing of goods or money
    2. lavish in giving or yielding: prodigal of compliments
    n
    1. a person who spends lavishly or squanders money
    Thank you but I've already checked the definitions on WR and Merriam Webster. What I'm asking is whether profligate has a stronger meaning, because "reckless prodigal" doesn't make much sense since prodigal is something reckless to begin with.

    Yes, I agree.

    You might find this thread interesting - prodigal is often considered to have another meaning from the Biblical parable of the prodigal son.
    Prodigal
    Thank you, I'm going to check it right now!
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Thank you but I've already checked the definitions on WR and Merriam Webster. What I'm asking is whether profligate has a stronger meaning, because "reckless prodigal" doesn't make much sense since prodigal is something reckless to begin with.
    It says 'recklessly prodigal' and it makes perfect sense to me as an explanation of 'profligate'.;)
    I thought that the definitions I posted made it perfectly clear that 'profligate' is stronger in meaning. My apologies, I should have explained myself better.
     
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