From Latin adulterātus (“(adjective) adulterated; of mixed descent; (verb) adulterated, corrupted, defiled, polluted; committed adultery with; (figuratively) counterfeited, falsified”) + English -ate (suffix forming adjectives with the sense ‘having the specified thing’, and verbs with the sense ‘acting in the specified manner’). Adulterātus is the perfect passive participle of adulterō (“to adulterate, corrupt, defile, pollute; to commit adultery with; (figuratively) to counterfeit, falsify”) + -ātus (suffix forming adjectives indicating the possession of a thing or a quality, from nouns); adulterō is derived from ad- (prefix intensifying the action of verbs) + alterō (“to alter, change”) (from alter (“the other”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂el- (“beyond; other”) + *-teros (suffix forming contrastive or oppositional adjectives)) + -ō (suffix forming first-conjugation verbs).
- Hyphenation: adul‧ter‧ate
- Corrupted or made impure by being mixed with something else; adulterated. [common in the 16th and 17th c.]
- 1641 June or July, John Milton, Of Prelatical Episcopacy, and Whether It may be Deduc’d from the Apostolical Times by Virtue of Those Testimonies which are Alledg’d to that Purpose in Some Late Treatises; […]; republished in A Complete Collection of the Historical, Political, and Miscellaneous Works of John Milton, […], volume I, Amsterdam [actually London: s.n.], 1698, OCLC 926209975, page 242:
- Theſe, and other like places in abundance through all thoſe ſhort Epiſtles, muſt either be adulterat, or elſe Ignatius [of Antioch] was not Ignatius, nor a Martyr, but moſt adulterate, and corrupt himſelf.
- Tending to commit adultery; relating to or being the product of adultery; adulterous. [common in the 16th and 17th c.]
- c. 1594, William Shakespeare, “The Comedie of Errors”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 89, column 1:
- I am poſſeſt with an adulterate blot, / My bloud is mingled with the crime of luſt: [...]
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragicall Historie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: […] (Second Quarto), London: […] I[ames] R[oberts] for N[icholas] L[ing] […], published 1604, OCLC 760858814, [Act I, scene v]:
- I [i.e., ay] that inceſtuous, that adulterate beaſt, / With witchcraft of his wits, with trayterous gifts, / O wicked wit, and giftes that haue the power / So to ſeduce; wonne to his ſhamefull luſt / The will of my moſt ſeeming vertuous Queene; [...]
- 1812, Lord Byron, “Canto I”, in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. A Romaunt, London: Printed for John Murray, […]; William Blackwood, Edinburgh; and John Cumming, Dublin; by Thomas Davison, […], OCLC 22697011, stanza XLVIII, page 32:
- [C]urse the day / When first Spain's queen beheld the black-ey'd boy, / And gore-fac'd Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.
- (transitive) To corrupt, to debase (someone or something).
- 1692, John Milton, chapter XII, in [Joseph Washington], transl., A Defence of the People of England, […]: In Answer to Salmasius’s Defence of the King, [London?: s.n.], OCLC 1015453011, page 237:
- 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 leaſt 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?
- (transitive) To make less valuable or spoil (something) by adding impurities or other substances.
- 1711 September 19 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Addison, “SATURDAY, September 8, 1711”, in The Spectator, number 165; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, […], volume II, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697, page 356:
- The present war has so adulterated our tongue with strange words, that it would be impossible for one of our great grandfathers to know what his posterity have been doing, were he to read their exploits in a modern newspaper.
- (transitive, archaic) To commit adultery with (someone).
- Synonym: (obsolete) adulter
- (transitive, archaic) To defile (someone) by adultery.
- 1649, J[ohn] M[ilton], The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates: […], London: […] Matthew Simmons, […], published 1649 (2nd printing), OCLC 929852619, page 13:
- Yet ſome would perſwade us, that this abſurd opinion was King Davids; becauſe in the 51st Pſalm he cries out to God, Againſt thee onely have I ſinn'd; as if David had imagin'd that to murder Uriah and adulterate his Wife, had bin no ſinn againſt his Neighbour, when as that Law of Moſes was to the King expreſly, Deut. 17. not to think ſo highly of himſelf above his Brethren.
- (intransitive, also figuratively, archaic) To commit adultery.
- c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 8, column 2:
- But Fortune, oh, / She is corrupted, chang’d, and wonne from thee, / Sh’adulterates hourely with thine Vnckle Iohn, / And with her golden hand hath pluckt on France / To tread downe faire reſpect of Soueraigntie, / And made his Maieſtie the bawd to theirs.
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||adulterate, adulteratest†||adulterated, adulteratedst†|
|3rd-person singular||adulterates, adulterateth†||adulterated|
- adulterated (adjective)
- adulterately (obsolete)
- adulterating (adjective, noun)
- adultered (adjective, archaic)
- adultering (adjective, archaic)
- adulterism (obsolete, rare)
- adulterize (archaic, rare)
- adulter (noun (archaic, historical), verb)
- adulterant on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
- Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “adulterate”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
adulterate f pl