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c.1300, from Old French fornicacion (12c.), from Late Latin fornicationem (nominative fornicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of fornicari "fornicate," from Latin fornix (genitive fornicis) "brothel" (Juvenal, Horace), originally "arch, vaulted chamber" (Roman prostitutes commonly solicited from under the arches of certain buildings), from fornus "oven of arched or domed shape." Strictly, "voluntary sex between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman;" extended in the Bible to adultery.
fornication for·ni·ca·tion (fôr'nĭ-kā'shən)
Sexual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other.
in every form of it was sternly condemned by the Mosaic law (Lev. 21:9; 19:29; Deut. 22:20, 21, 23-29; 23:18; Ex. 22:16). (See ADULTERY.) But this word is more frequently used in a symbolical than in its ordinary sense. It frequently means a forsaking of God or a following after idols (Isa. 1:2; Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 1:2; 2:1-5; Jer. 3:8,9).