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 with another than her husband. [1913 Webster]

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}. [1913 Webster]

2. Adulteration; corruption. [Obs.] --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

3. (Script.) (a) Lewdness or unchastity of thought as well as act, as forbidden by the seventh commandment. (b) Faithlessness in religion. --Jer. iii. 9. [1913 Webster]

4. (Old Law) The fine and penalty imposed for the offense of adultery. [1913 Webster]

5. (Eccl.) The intrusion of a person into a bishopric during the life of the bishop. [1913 Webster]

6. Injury; degradation; ruin. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

You might wrest the caduceus out of my hand to the adultery and spoil of nature. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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