adultery
\ \ [14] Neither adultery nor the related adulterate have any connection with adult. Both come ultimately from the Latin verb adulterāredebauch, corrupt’ (which may have been based on Latin alterother’, with the notion of pollution from some extraneous source). By the regular processes of phonetic change, adulterāre passed into Old French as avoutrer, and this was the form which first reached English, as avouter (used both verbally, ‘commit adultery’, and nominally, ‘adulterer’) and as the nouns avouteryadultery’ and avoutereradulterer’.
\ \ Almost from the first they coexisted in English beside adult- forms, deriving either from Law French or directly from Latin, and during the 15th to 17th centuries these gradually ousted the avout- forms. Adulter, the equivalent of avouter, clung on until the end of the 18th century, but the noun was superseded in the end by adulterer and the verb by a new form, adulterate, directly based on the past participle of Latin adulterāre, which continued to mean ‘commit adultery’ until the mid 19th century.
\ \ Cf.ALTER

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Adultery — • The article considers adultery with reference only to morality Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Adultery     Adultery     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • adultery — adul·tery /ə dəl tə rē/ n: voluntary sexual activity (as sexual intercourse) between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband; also: the crime of adultery compare fornication… …   Law dictionary

  • Adultery — A*dul ter*y, n.; pl. {Adulteries}. [L. adulterium. See {Advoutry}.] 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adultery — (n.) voluntary violation of the marriage bed, c.1300, avoutrie, from O.Fr. avouterie (12c.), noun of condition from avoutre, from L. adulterare to corrupt (see ADULTERATION (Cf. adulteration)). Modern spelling, with the re inserted d , is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • adultery — adultery, fornication, incest designate forms of illicit sexual intercourse which are clearly distinguished in legal use, both civil and ecclesiastical. Adultery implies unfaithfulness to one’s spouse, and therefore can be applied only to sexual… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • adultery — [n] extramarital affair affair, carrying on*, cheating, extracurricular activity*, fling, fornication, hanky panky*, immorality, infidelity, matinee*, playing around*, relationship, thing*, two timing*; concept 633 Ant. faithfulness …   New thesaurus

  • adultery — ► NOUN ▪ voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse. DERIVATIVES adulterous adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • adultery — [ə dul′tər ē] n. pl. adulteries [L adulterium < adulter: see ADULTERATE] voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman not his wife, or between a married woman and a man not her husband: see also FORNICATION …   English World dictionary

  • adultery — /euh dul teuh ree/, n., pl. adulteries. voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse. [1325 75; ME adulterie < L adulterium, equiv. to adulter (see ADULTERER) + ium IUM; r. ME a(d)vouterie… …   Universalium

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