wit·​tol | \ ˈwi-tᵊl How to pronounce wittol (audio) \

Definition of wittol

1 archaic : a man who knows of his wife's infidelity and puts up with it
2 archaic : a witless person

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.

First Known Use of wittol

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wittol

Middle English wetewold, from weten, witen to know + cokewold cuckold — more at wit

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The first known use of wittol was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Wittol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wittol. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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