phi·​lan·​der | \ fə-ˈlan-dər How to pronounce philander (audio) \
philandered; philandering\ fə-​ˈlan-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce philandering (audio) \

Definition of philander

intransitive verb

: to have casual or illicit sex with a person or with many people especially : to be sexually unfaithful to one's spouse usually used of a man … her philandering brother-in-law; and … the schoolteacher he philanders with. — Judith Crist

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Synonyms for philander


cheat, screw around, step out

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Examples of philander in a Sentence

he can't seem to stop philandering, even now that he's on his fifth marriage

Recent Examples on the Web

Richard has become my Warren Beatty-worth his weight in gold-minus the tight pants and philandering. Longreads, "True Roots," 5 June 2019 Her sights are set on the philandering J.D. Sheldrake (played by Tony Goldwyn), who seduces Fran, but then goes six weeks without calling her. Jennifer Dixon, Harper's BAZAAR, "Broadway's Promises, Promises Promises to Be Charming," 3 May 2010 The narrator of this novel is a writer who has lost her best friend, a philandering teacher and writer, to suicide. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 5 Mar. 2018 But, of note in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Krefft concludes that Fox was never unfaithful to his wife, Eva, while his rival studio lords — Jack Warner and Louis B. Mayer — philandered infamously on their casting couches. Matt Damsker, USA TODAY, "New bio: Remembering William Fox, the flawed genius behind 20th Century Fox," 26 Dec. 2017 No word yet if exceptions will be granted for the side chicks of philandering congressmen. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Pro-Life Congressman Mysteriously OK With Abortion if His Side Chick Needs One: Report," 4 Oct. 2017 Mark’s brother, Gerry, is a philandering real-estate agent who sets up an anonymous blog to complain about the local government. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "The Best New Fiction," 4 Aug. 2017 In the video accompanying the 1998 track, the two singers battle over a philandering lover originally played by Mekhi Phifer. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor fight over John Boyega in 'The Boy Is Mine' parody video," 10 Aug. 2017 In the 1950s, a philandering Jack L. Warner undercut his brother Harry for control of the family’s Warner Bros. studio, and the two never spoke again. Laura M. Holson, New York Times, "“This is all very Shakespearean, with the family, all the people taking over the kingdom,” said Michael Medavoy, a producer who knows Mr. Redstone. “It’s a tragedy. But my question is, is it a tragic comedy or is it a tragic drama?”," 14 May 2016

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

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First Known Use of philander

1737, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for philander

from obsolete philander lover, philanderer, probably from the name Philander

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Statistics for philander

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for philander

The first known use of philander was in 1737

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More from Merriam-Webster on philander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with philander

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for philander

Nglish: Translation of philander for Spanish Speakers

Comments on philander

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


a small bunch of flowers

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