Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:


Dated 16th century C.E.; modified from adulteration, likely with earlier origin in the Latin past‐participle adulterātus.


adulterate (comparative more adulterate, superlative most adulterate)

  1. Tending to commit adultery.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      , I.v.
      Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
      With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts-
      O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
      So to seduce!- won to his shameful lust
      The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen.
  2. Corrupted; impure; adulterated.
    • 1641, John Milton, Of Prelatical Episcopacy.
      Theſe, and other like places in abundance trough all thoſe ſhort epiſtles, muſt either be adulterate, or elſe Ignatius was not Ignatius, nor a martyr, but moſt adulterate, and corrupt himſelf.


adulterate (third-person singular simple present adulterates, present participle adulterating, simple past and past participle adulterated)

  1. To corrupt.
    • 1692, John Milton, A Defence of the People of England, in Answer to Salmasius's Defence of the King, tr. of Defensio pro Populo Anglicano, Ch. XII.
      For thus, that King violated that Oath which he ought moſt religiouſly to have ſworn to; but that he might not ſeem openly and publickly to violate it, he craftily adulterated and corrupted it; and leſt he himſelf ſhould be accounted perjur'd, he turn'd the very Oath into a Perjury. [] And who durſt pervert and adulterate that Law which he thought the only Obſtacle that ſtood in his way, and hindred him from perverting all the reſt of the Laws?
  2. To spoil by adding impurities.
    to adulterate food, drink, drugs, coins, etc.
    • Spectator
      The present war has [] adulterated our tongue with strange words.
  3. To commit adultery.
  4. To defile by adultery.
    • 1649 February, John Milton, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates.
      Yet some would persuade us that this absurd opinion was King David's, because in the 51st Psalm he cries out to God, "Against thee only have I sinned;" as if David had imagined, that to murder Uriah and adulterate his wife had been no sin against his neighbour, whenas that law of Moses was to the king expressly, Deut. xvii., not to think so highly of himself above his brethren.


Derived terms[edit]



  • adulterate” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.




  1. second-person plural present indicative of adulterare
  2. second-person plural imperative of adulterare
  3. feminine plural of adulterato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of adulterō