cuck·​old | \ ˈkə-kəld How to pronounce cuckold (audio) , -(ˌ)kōld \

Definition of cuckold

: a man whose wife is unfaithful

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Other Words from cuckold

cuckold transitive verb

The Many Synonyms of Cuckold

One of the more glaring inequities of the English language is that it has a significantly larger number of words for “a man whose wife is unfaithful” than it does for “a woman whose man is unfaithful.” Cuckold is perhaps the best known of these words, and it has many synonyms, including (but by no means restricted to) cornute, cornuto, hoddy-doddy, hoddypoll, horn, ram, and wittol (a man who is aware of his wife’s infidelity and acquiesces to it). What of a woman whose husband is unfaithful? For that our language appears to have but a single word, and an obscure one at that: cuckquean.

Examples of cuckold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tom is also a cuckold: Shiv is cheating on him with her ex Nate (Ashley Zukerman), a floppy-haired political operative. Meredith Blake,, "Matthew Macfadyen is as mortified by ‘Succession’ as you are," 12 Aug. 2019 Even Shakespeare and Chaucer cracked wise about cuckolds, who were often depicted wearing horns. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "Fathered by the Mailman? It’s Mostly an Urban Legend," 8 Apr. 2016

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

First Known Use of cuckold

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cuckold

Middle English cokewold

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Time Traveler for cuckold

Time Traveler

The first known use of cuckold was in the 13th century

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Statistics for cuckold

Cite this Entry

“Cuckold.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cuckold



English Language Learners Definition of cuckold

old-fashioned : a man whose wife has sex with someone else : a man's whose wife commits adultery

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