The Meaning of Casanova: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of casanova? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word casanova, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word casanova mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Language Dictionary and Your Dictionary, a casanova (pronounced ˌkæsəˈnəʊvə) is a man who is known for seducing women and having many lovers. This person might have amorous adventures. In contemporary society, this term is often used with a general use to refer to someone who has elaborate affairs or relations with many women. Certain different languages have their own words for a casanova, but since this word is taken from a person’s last name, many languages use the same idiom. This list of translations is provided by Word Sense

  •  Scottish Gaelic: drùisire‎ (masc.), drùisear‎ (masc.), drùiseach‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: donnaiolo‎ (masc.), farfallone‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: pelimies‎, naistenmies‎
  •  Swedish: kvinnotjusare‎
  •  Indonesian: bandot‎
  •  German: Schürzenjäger‎ (masc.), Weiberheld‎ (masc.), Frauenheld‎ (masc.), Womanizer‎ (masc.)
  •  Cyrillic: женскар‎ (masc.)
  •  Albanian: cubar‎ (masc.), lakmues‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: afemeiat‎ (masc.), vânător de fuste‎ (masc.), crai‎ (masc.) (ironic), muieratic‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: γυναικάς‎ (masc.)
  •  Dutch: vrouwenloper‎ (masc.), wijvenloper‎ (masc.)
  •  Czech: sukničkář‎ (masc.)
  •  Roman: ženskar‎ (masc.)
  •  Egyptian Arabic: نسوانجي‎
  •  Icelandic: kvennabósi‎ (masc.), flagari‎ (masc.), slarkari‎ (masc.)
  •  Persian: دخترباز‎ (doxtar-bâz), زنباره‎ (zan-bâre)
  •  Kalmyk: эмсг‎
  •  Russian: ба́бник‎ (masc.), донжуа́н‎ (masc.), казано́ва‎ (masc.), ю́бочник‎ (masc.), ловела́с‎ (masc.), да́мский уго́дник‎ (masc.) (somewhat dated)
  •  Arabic: زِير نِسَاء‎ (masc.), مُتَأَنِّق‎ (masc.)
  •  Irish: drúisire‎
  •  Latvian: brunču mednieks‎ (masc.), pavedējs‎ (masc.), donžuāns‎ (masc.), kazanova‎ (masc.)
  •  Polish: kobieciarz‎ (masc.)
  •  Breton: merc’hetaer‎ (masc.)
  •  French: coureur‎ (masc.), coureur de jupons‎ (masc.), cavaleur‎ (masc.), homme à femmes‎ (masc.), Don Juan‎ (masc.), womanizer‎ (masc.) (anglicism)
  •  Japanese: 女たらし‎ (おんなたらし, onnatarashi)
  •  Spanish: mujeriego‎ (masc.), gallinazo‎ (masc.), rompecorazones‎ (masc.) (f), donjuán‎ (masc.), (Chile) cachero del oeste‎, (pejorative, Chile) lacho‎ (masc.)
  •  Macedonian: женкар‎
  •  Georgian: მექალთანე‎
  •  Mandarin: 好色之徒‎ (hàosèzhītú), 花花公子‎ (huāhuāgōngzi), 色狼‎ (sèláng)
  •  Esperanto: donĵuano‎
  •  Korean: 오입 쟁이‎
  •  Hungarian: nőcsábász‎
  •  Portuguese: mulherengo‎ (masc.)
  •  Turkish: zampara‎, kadıncıl‎, zendost‎ (archaic), keskin‎ (rare)

What is the origin of the word casanova?

You may be wondering why a Spanish compound word meaning new house could have come to be associated with a womanizer. The translation of casanova does not seem to line up with its meaning. According to Etymonline and Walks of Italy, the term casanova has been used since the year 1888 to refer to a connoisseur of seduction. This term comes from the infamous debaucher Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seignalt, who lived from 1725 to 1798. His English name is Jacobe Jerome Newhouse – this first name isn’t anywhere near a romantic. Casanova was an Italian adventurer who wrote many mémoires and vivid accounts of his sexual encounters. Therefore, the last name casanova has become associated with such a womanizer.

Casanova was born in Venice, Italy. After graduating from the University of Padua he began his eastern travels throughout Europe. He worked as a church cleric, but that did not last for very long. His gambling habit created debts that landed him in prison, and he started a new career as a soldier. He later quit because it was boring. He then became a violinist at age 21 who caught the eye of a senator, Count Bragadin, who brought him into his home as a patron. However, he decided to go on a grand tour where he seduced dozens of women. 

He had many different affairs from an Italian actress to noblewomen and more, and after some trouble with the law he fled to Paris and pretended to be an alchemist. He tried to sell state bonds in Amsterdam. He then made up a new personality, Chevalier de Seingalt, and scammed his way across Europe. Later, he became the librarian in Count Joseph Karl von Waldstein’s house in Bohemia. He found this position in Count Waldstein’s household boring. He died at age 73. 

How can the word casanova be used in a sentence?

There are many situations in which a person might be called a casanova. This is usually used jokingly or as a compliment. In this example, Jackson is having some difficulty because two different girls have asked him to homecoming. He talks to his dad.

Jackson: Dad, can I ask you something?

Dad: Sure, what’s up?

Jackson: Two different girls asked me to homecoming today.

Dad: Okay then, casanova! So what’s the problem?

Jackson: I said yes to them both… I really don’t want to hurt either of their feelings and I don’t want them to think I don’t like them. I know that now I’m going to hurt someone no matter what.

What are synonyms for the word casanova?

There are many different words that one can use in place of the word casanova. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful to know if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself or if you are trying to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the term casanova is provided by Thesaurus

  •  Lothario
  •  lover-boy
  •  adulterer
  •  darling
  •  Romeo
  •  rake
  •  cad
  •  player
  •  inamorata
  •  heartbreaker
  •  Don Juan
  •  wolf
  •  valentine
  •  lover
  •  sweetheart
  •  dearest
  •  coquette
  •  operator
  •  petitioner
  •  truelove
  •  suitor
  •  girlfriend
  •  inamorato
  •  swinger
  •  philanderer
  •  swain
  •  chaser
  •  paramour
  •  libertine
  •  admirer
  •  womanizer
  •  gallant
  •  cruiser
  •  courter
  •  flirt
  •  trifler
  •  ladies’ man
  •  suppliant
  •  wanton
  •  beau
  •  steady
  •  siren
  •  lady-killer
  •  idolizer
  •  infatuate
  •  fiancé
  •  escort
  •  wooer
  •  vixen
  •  dallier
  •  seducer
  •  stud
  •  dear
  •  gigolo
  •  boyfriend
  •  Juliet
  •  significant other
  •  vamp
  •  flame
  •  companion
  •  solicitor
  •  debaucher
  •  tease
  •  lecher
  •  fiancée
  •  skirt chaser
  •  beloved

Overall, the word casanova refers to a womanizer of philanderer. This term is named after the famous Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seignalt, and directly translates to “new house.” 

Sources:

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/word/casanova
  2. https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/art-culture/casanova-the-lover-venice-italy
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/casanova
  4. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Casanova#:~:text=(Entry%201%20of%202),and%20literally%20dozens%20of%20mistresses%20%E2%80%A6%E2%80%94
  5. https://www.yourdictionary.com/casanova
  6. https://www.wordsense.eu/Casanova/#English