Posted by kazvorpal on October 10, 2009
Any ardent desire, but especially sexual desire; lust.
Good men seek it by the natural means of the virtues; evil men, however, try to achieve the same goal by a variety of concupiscences, and that is surely an unnatural way of seeking the good. Don’t you agree?
— Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
Under a forehead roughly comparable to that of the Javanese or the Piltdown man are visible a pair of tiny pig eyes, lit up alternately by greed and concupiscence.
S. J. Perelman, The Best of S. J. Perelman, Introduction (1947)
Like the use of the word ‘concupiscence‘ in an earlier age to describe sexual desire, the use of the word ‘pollution’ to describe essential aspects of the productive activities of an industrial society represents an attempt to defame an entirely proper human capacity by means of using an evil sounding name for it.
— George Reisman, Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics (1996)
Neoclassical euphemism, adopted from Latin concupiscens, very desirous: com; an intensifier, and cupere, meaning “to long for”. Easy to remember, because Cupid comes from the same root.
With the rise of sexual repression in Christianity, this word sometimes took on a pejorative connotation as a sexual euphamism, but is originally a poetic term for desire in general.