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


Ca. 1815 French satire on cuckoldry, which shows both men and women wearing horns.
Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English cokolde, cokewold, cockewold, kukwald, kukeweld, from Old French cucuault; a compound of cucu (cuckoo) (some varieties of the cuckoo bird lay their eggs in another’s nest) and Old French -auld. Cucu is either a directly derived onomatopoeic derivative of the cuckoo's call, or from Latin cuculus. Latin cuculus is a compound of onomatopoeic cucu (compare Late Latin cucus) and the diminutive suffix -ulus. -auld is from Frankish *-wald (similar suffixes are used in some personal names within other Germanic languages as well; confer English Harold, for instance), a suffixal note of Frankish *wald (power, mastery, dominion), from Proto-Germanic *waldą (might, power, authority), from *waldaną (to rule), from Proto-Indo-European *wal- (to be strong). Appears in Middle English in noun form circa 1250 as cokewald. First known use of the verb form is 1589.



cuckold (plural cuckolds)

  1. A man married to an unfaithful wife, especially when he is unaware or unaccepting of the fact.
    • 1546, François Rabelais, The Third Book, Chapter 36
      If I never marry, I shall never be a cuckold.
    • 2001, Goran V. Stanivukovic, Ovid and the Renaissance Body, page 178:
      In the early English drama, no play better approximates Ovid's contemptuous portrait of the willing cuckold than does Thomas Middleton's Chaste Maid in Cheapside (ca. 1612).
    • For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:cuckold.
  2. A West Indian plectognath fish, Rhinesomus.
  3. The cowfish, Acanthostracion quadricornis and allied species.



Coordinate terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



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

  1. (transitive) To make a cuckold or cuckquean of someone by being unfaithful, or by seducing their partner or spouse.