alienation of affection

: the diversion of a person's affection from someone who has certain rights or claims to such affection to a third person who is held to be the instigator or cause of the diversion

Word History

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of alienation of affection was in 1647

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near alienation of affection

Cite this Entry

“Alienation of affection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alienation%20of%20affection. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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