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From Middle English fornicacioun, from Old French fornicacion, from Latin fornicātiō, from fornix (“brothel”).
fornication (countable and uncountable, plural fornications)
- (religion, law) Sexual intercourse by people who are not married to each other, or which is considered illicit in another way.
- Hyponym: adultery
- c. 1589–1590, Christopher Marlo[we], Tho[mas] Heywood, editor, The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Ievv of Malta. […], London: […] I[ohn] B[eale] for Nicholas Vavasour, […], published 1633, →OCLC, Act IV:
- FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed—
BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country;
And besides, the wench is dead.
- c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
- I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemned upon the act of fornication
To lose his head, condemned by Angelo
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, 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.
- 1734, George Sale (translator), Alcoran of Mohammed, 17:32:
- Draw not near unto fornication; for it is wickedness, and an evil way
- 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.
- (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 […]
- see also Thesaurus:copulation
sexual intercourse considered illicit
- fornication at OneLook Dictionary Search
- fornication in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
fornication f (plural fornications)
- “fornication”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
- English terms inherited from Middle English
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- English terms derived from Old French
- English terms derived from Latin
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- Rhymes:English/eɪʃən/4 syllables
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