SKIP TO CONTENT

adultery

Adultery is a word for cheating — cheating on your spouse with another person. Adultery isn’t a crime, but some people consider it a sin.

If two people are dating, and one fools around with someone else, it's not adultery. Only married people can commit adultery. If you commit adultery — and your spouse finds out — then you’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Although it's still highly frowned upon, cultural attitudes toward adultery have changed a lot: the classic book The Scarlet Letter shows how harshly women were once treated for committing adultery.

Definitions of adultery
  1. noun
    extramarital sex that willfully and maliciously interferes with marriage relations
    adultery is often cited as grounds for divorce”
    synonyms: criminal conversation, fornication
    see moresee less
    type of:
    extramarital sex, free love
    sexual intercourse between individuals who are not married to one another
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week