1. [syn: adultery, criminal conversation, fornication]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Adultery \A*dul"ter*y\, n.; pl. Adulteries. [L. adulterium.
1. The unfaithfulness of a married person to the marriage
bed; sexual intercourse by a married man with another than
his wife, or voluntary sexual intercourse by a married
woman with another than her husband.
Note: It is adultery on the part of the married wrongdoer.
The word has also been used to characterize the act of
an unmarried participator, the other being married. In
the United States the definition varies with the local
statutes. Unlawful intercourse between two married
persons is sometimes called double adultery; between
a married and an unmarried person, single adultery.
2. Adulteration; corruption. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
(a) Lewdness or unchastity of thought as well as act, as
forbidden by the seventh commandment.
(b) Faithlessness in religion. --Jer. iii. 9.
4. (Old Law) The fine and penalty imposed for the offense of
5. (Eccl.) The intrusion of a person into a bishopric during
the life of the bishop.
6. Injury; degradation; ruin. [Obs.]
You might wrest the caduceus out of my hand to the
adultery and spoil of nature. --B. Jonson.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: extramarital sex that willfully and maliciously interferes
with marriage relations; "adultery is often cited as
grounds for divorce" [syn: adultery, criminal
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
71 Moby Thesaurus words for "adultery":
act of love, adulterous affair, affair, amour, aphrodisia, ass,
balling, carnal knowledge, climax, cohabitation, coition, coitus,
coitus interruptus, commerce, concubinage, congress, connection,
copula, copulation, coupling, criminal conversation, cuckoldry,
diddling, entanglement, eternal triangle, extracurricular sex,
extramarital relations, flirtation, forbidden love, fornication,
free love, free-lovism, hanky-panky, illicit love, incest,
infidelity, intercourse, intimacy, intrigue, liaison, love affair,
lovemaking, making it with, marital relations, marriage act,
mating, meat, onanism, orgasm, ovum, pareunia,
premarital relations, premarital sex, procreation, relations,
romance, romantic tie, screwing, sex, sex act, sexual climax,
sexual commerce, sexual congress, sexual intercourse,
sexual relations, sexual union, sleeping with, sperm, triangle,
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
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.)
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
ADULTERY, criminal law. From ad and alter, another person; a criminal
conversation, between a man married to another woman, and a woman married to
another man, or a married and unmarried person. The married person is guilty
of adultery, the unmarried of fornication. (q.v.) 1 Yeates, 6; 2 Dall. 124;
but see 2 Blackf. 318.
2. The elements of this crime are, 1st, that there shall be an unlawful
carnal connexion; 2dly, that the guilty party shall at the time be married;
3dly, that he or she shall willingly commit the offence; for a woman who has
been ravished against her will is not guilty of adultery. Domat, Supp. du
Droit Public, liv. 3, t. 10, n. 13.
3. The punishment of adultery, in the United States, generally, is fine
4. In England it is left to the feeble hands of the ecclesiastical
courts to punish this offence.
5. Adultery in one of the married persons is good cause for obtaining a
divorce by the innocent partner. See 1 Pick. 136; 8 Pick. 433; 9 Mass. 492:
14 Pick. 518; 7 Greenl. 57; 8 Greenl. 75; 7 Conn. 267 10 Conn. 372; 6 Verm.
311; 2 Fairf. 391 4 S. & R. 449; 5 Rand. 634; 6 Rand. 627; 8 S. & R. 159; 2
Yeates, 278, 466; 4 N. H. Rep. 501; 5 Day, 149; 2 N. & M. 167.
6. As to proof of adultery, see 2 Greenl. Sec. 40, Marriage.