extramarital sex without the consent of the married participant's spouse

Adultery (informally known as cheating in non-religious situations) is a word used in religious texts like Exodus 20:14. Adultery applies to a married person having sex with someone other than the person who they are married to.

Le supplice des adultères by Jules Arsène Garnier shows an adulterous couple being punished

In countries where religion is important, adultery often comes with a heavy punishment. Some Muslim countries punish it with death by stoning. In most countries adultery is no longer a crime, but most people still see it as a bad thing.(see Gospel of John 8) If a person who is married takes part in adultery, that person's husband or wife would usually have the right to be able to go to court to divorce them.

Word origin change

The word adultery originates not from “adult”, as is commonly thought in English-speaking countries, but from the Late Latin word for “to alter, corrupt”: “adulterare”. “Adulterare” in turn is formed by the combination of “ad” (towards), and “alter” (other), together with the infinitive form “are” (making it a verb). Thus the meaning is literally “to make other”. In contrast, the word “adult” (meaning a person of mature years) comes from another Latin root, “adolescere”, meaning to grow up or mature: a combination of “ad” (towards), “alere” (to nourish, to grow), and the inchoative infix “sc”(meaning to enter into a state of).

Literature change

Famous adulterers include :

Related pages change

  • Infidelity: the same concept, but without a religious background