fornication

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English fornicacioun, from Old French fornicacion, from Latin fornicātiō, from fornix (brothel).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

fornication (countable and uncountable, plural fornications)

  1. (religion, law) Sexual intercourse by people who are not married, or which is considered illicit in another way.
    Hyponym: adultery
    • 1589 or 90, Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, Act IV:
      FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed—
      BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country;
      And besides, the wench is dead.
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act V, Scene 1:
      I am the sister of one Claudio,
      Condemned upon the act of fornication
      To lose his head, condemned by Angelo
    • 1611, King James Version, Galatians 5:19–21:
      Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    • 1816, Cobbett's Parliamentary History of England: From the Norman Conquest, in 1066, to the Year, 1803, page 623:
      In one case, where a man was sued for committing fornication with his wife before marriage, it appeared, that seven years after her death he was cited to stand as a prisoner at their bar, though he had lived with her for nine years, []
    • 1893, The Southwestern Reporter, page 840:
      ... that he was a married man at the time is a necessary allegation, as the allegation that he was an unmarried man would have been necessary had he been charged with the crime of incest, by having committed fornication with his daughter.
    • 2013, Arthur W. Calhoun, The American Family in the Colonial Period, Courier Corporation (→ISBN)
      Thus, at Roxbury, 1678, Hanna Hopkins was censured in the church for fornication with her husband before marriage and for fleeing from justice into Rhode Island.
  2. (colloquial) Sexual intercourse in general; sex.
    • 2012, Geoffrey Kennell, The Upper Crust, Xlibris Corporation (→ISBN), page 185:
      For a moment he stared at the back of the Lascar, wondering if he were the youth that he had disturbed during fornication with his Engineer, then dismissed all thoughts of the previous night, he was getting old, and suspicious, what did it matter []

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Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • fornication at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • fornication in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911