adul·​ter·​ous | \ ə-ˈdəl-t(ə-)rəs How to pronounce adulterous (audio) \

Definition of adulterous

: relating to, characterized by, or given to adultery an adulterous affair an adulterous wife

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from adulterous

adulterously adverb

Examples of adulterous in a Sentence

had an adulterous affair that nearly destroyed his marriage

Recent Examples on the Web

Most scholars agree that the modern novel starts with a tale of adulterous temptation: Madame de La Fayette’s The Princess of Clèves (1678). Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "How Infidelity Helped Create the Novel," 2 May 2019 Just about every Kennedy delighted in adulterous hookups while in office, and girls on the side have followed President Clinton from Little Rock to this day, tarnishing his reputation but not his legacy. Marcia Desanctis, Town & Country, "Mark Sanford, Act II," 14 Feb. 2013 The fact that adulterous Stan can sleep better in his suburban home is an afterthought., "What Makes Pose's Biggest Relationship Special Isn't What You Think," 11 June 2018 Shoba Narayan enacts Hamilton's loving wife for whom his adulterous fling burns deeply but who vows to tell his story. Tom Titus,, "On Theater: ‘Hamilton’ throbs with historical passion," 10 May 2018 The only big shot in recent memory who gained my sympathy in the midst of his adulterous scandal was Gov. Mark Sanford. Maura Kelly, Marie Claire, "Why Don't Politicians Have Higher Standards When They Cheat?," 16 Feb. 2010 However, the Queen doesn’t approve of the previously-adulterous relationship, and declined to attend a private 50th birthday party for Charles because Camilla would be there. Jillian Mackenzie, Town & Country, "A Timeline of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles's Royal Romance," 1 June 2017 The play begins in the present, with the meeting of Emma and Jerry, whose adulterous affair of seven years ended two years earlier. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "American Heart Association to hold 'National Walking Day' event April 4 in Tosa," 2 Apr. 2018 The significance of this revelation, from a news standpoint, has long been unclear: If Donald Trump did, in fact, have a consensual adulterous affair with Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Cohen Used Trump Organization Email for Stormy Daniels Payoff," 9 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adulterous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of adulterous

1550, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adulterous

alteration (conformed to Latin adulter "impure, given to adultery") of earlier advouterous, going back to Middle English advouterose, from avowter "given to adultery" (borrowed from Anglo-French avuiltre, avoutre, going back to Latin adulter) + -ous -ous, -ose -ose entry 1 — more at adulterer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adulterous

Statistics for adulterous

Last Updated

28 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adulterous

The first known use of adulterous was in 1550

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adulterous


adul·​ter·​ous | \ ə-ˈdəl-tə-rəs How to pronounce adulterous (audio) \

Legal Definition of adulterous

: relating to, characterized by, or given to adultery

Other Words from adulterous

adulterously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on adulterous

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adulterous

Spanish Central: Translation of adulterous

Nglish: Translation of adulterous for Spanish Speakers

Comments on adulterous

What made you want to look up adulterous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!