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adultery

[uh-duhl-tuh-ree] /əˈdʌl tə ri/
noun, plural adulteries.
1.
voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English adulterie < Latin adulterium, equivalent to adulter (see adulterer) + -ium -ium; replacing Middle English a(d)vouterie < Old French avoutrie < Latin, with ad- ad- replacing a a-5
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for adultery
  • In the case of adultery, the judges might be influenced by their experience in divorce courts.
  • Norrie explores the subject of marital tension and adultery through two couples.
  • This, he said, constituted adultery and grounds for divorce.
  • The missionaries also forbade working and amusement on Sundays, swearing and adultery.
  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents said adultery is morally wrong.
  • The only grounds for divorce a decade ago was adultery.
  • Yellow indicates jealousy, inconstancy, and adultery.
  • Causes for divorce did not include adultery.
  • Hypocrisy undermines adultery laws.
  • Tales of adultery are much improved by period costumes.
British Dictionary definitions for adultery

adultery

/əˈdʌltərɪ/
noun (pl) -teries
1.
voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and a partner other than the legal spouse
Word Origin
C15: adulterie, altered (as if directly from Latin adulterium) from C14 avoutrie, via Old French from Latin adulterium, from adulter, back formation from adulterāre. See adulterate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adultery
n.

"voluntary violation of the marriage bed," c.1300, avoutrie, from Old French avouterie (12c.), noun of condition from avoutre, from Latin adulterare "to corrupt" (see adulteration). Modern spelling, with the re-inserted -d-, is from early 15c. (see ad-).

In Middle English, also "sex between husband and wife for recreational purposes; idolatry, perversion, heresy." Classified as single adultery (with an unmarried person) and double adultery (with a married person). Old English word was æwbryce "breach of law(ful marriage)" (cf. German Ehebruch). Adultery Dune in Arizona corresponds to Navajo sei adilehe "adultery sand," where illicit lovers met privately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adultery in the Bible

conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had illicit intercourse with a married or a betrothed woman, and such a woman was an adulteress. Intercourse between a married man and an unmarried woman was fornication. Adultery was regarded as a great social wrong, as well as a great sin. The Mosaic law (Num. 5:11-31) prescribed that the suspected wife should be tried by the ordeal of the "water of jealousy." There is, however, no recorded instance of the application of this law. In subsequent times the Rabbis made various regulations with the view of discovering the guilty party, and of bringing about a divorce. It has been inferred from John 8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as adultery spiritually (Jer. 3:6, 8, 9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev. 2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek. 23:4, 7, 37), and the Jews are styled "an adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39). (Comp. Rev. 12.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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