cuckold

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English[edit]

Ca. 1815 French satire on cuckoldry, which shows both men and women wearing horns.
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Etymology[edit]

Derived from Old French cucuault (from cucu, the Cuckoo bird, some varieties of which lay their eggs in another’s nest). Appears in Middle English in noun form circa 1250 as cokewald. First known use of the verb form is 1589.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

cuckold (plural cuckolds)

  1. A man married to an unfaithful wife, especially when he is unaware or unaccepting of the fact.
  2. A West Indian plectognath fish, Rhinesomus.
  3. The cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis and allied species.

Usage notes[edit]

  • This was a standard comic figure in medieval and Shakespearean drama.

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Verb[edit]

cuckold (third-person singular simple present cuckolds, present participle cuckolding, simple past and past participle cuckolded)

  1. (transitive) To make a cuckold of someone by being unfaithful, or by seducing his wife.

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