Lust is an intense desire or craving, especially for sexual activity. It can take many forms, such as the lust for knowledge, the lust for power and of course, the lust for sex.

Detail: Luxuria (Lust), in The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, by Hieronymus Bosch


  • Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
  • Of woman's unnatural, insatiable lust, what country, what village doth not complain?
  • Neither do thou lust after that tawney weed tobacco.
    • Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair (1614), Act II, scene vi
  • Lust is the offspring of a thousand sighs,
    Intrigue, deception, and as many lies;
    A strange compound of hidden, plotting ill,
    "To fire with rage, to torture, or to kill.
  • They are only safe
    That know to soothe the prince's appetite,
    And serve his lusts.
  • Lust is an arrogant and haughty beast and far from subtle.
  • Foeda est in coitu et brevis voluptas, et taedet Veneris statim peractae.
  • Delight of lust is gross and brief
    And weariness treads on desire.
    • Petronius, reported in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1981), p. 183
  • Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
    Men so disorder’d, so debosh’d and bold
    That this our court, infected with their manners,
    Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
    Makes it more like a tavern or a brothel
    Than a grac’d palace.
  • A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap; served the lust of my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it: wine loved I deeply, dice dearly: and in woman out-paramoured the Turk: false of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of silks betray thy poor heart to woman: keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend.
  • Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
    Auri sacra fames?
    • Fell lust of gold! abhorred, accurst!
      What will not men to slake such thirst?
    • Virgil, Aeneid (29–19 BC), Book III, lines 56-57 (translated by John Conington)
  • Lust carries her sharp whip
    At her own girdle.
  • Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust,
    Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.
  • But she—she heard the violin,
    And left my side, and entered in:
    Love passed into the house of lust.
  • Who were your lovers? who were they who wrestled for you in the dust?
    Which was the vessel of your Lust? What Leman had you, every day?
  • Natural freedoms are but just:
    There's something generous in mere lust.
  • Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life.
    • Proverbs 6:25-26 (NIV)
  • Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
  • Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
  • Silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.
  • Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
  • For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

See also

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