ศัพท์ น่าสับสน ชุด – A – adultery
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ออกเสียง adultery = ‘uh-DUHL-tur-ree’
What does adultery mean?
Adultery is a consensual sexual relationship or encounter
between someone who’s marriedand a person they’re not married to
(who may or may notbe married to someone else).
In other words, it can be between two people
who are both married to other people,
orbetween a married person and a nonmarried person.
Typically, for something to be considered adultery,
at least one of the partners must be married.
On the other hand, similar words like
regardlessof whether either person is married
—they simply refer to a(usually sexual) relationship
or encounterbetween people when one
or bothof them is in a committed relationship with someone else.
When it happens with someone other than one’s spouse,
a long-term relationship (often called an affair),
a single sexual encounter,
or anything in between can be considered to constitute adultery.
In some cases, a relationshipmay even be considered adultery
when it’s nonsexual but intimate
(this is sometimes called an emotional affair).
The word adultery is especially used in a religious context,
in which it’s often considereda sin.
For that reason, it’s often used with the verb commit.
It’s alsosometimes used in a legal context,
such as during divorce proceedings.
Adultery is a crime in some places
(including in some U.S. states, though people aren’t often charged for it).
Adultery is associated with a considerable amount of stigma.
The word adultery and its related terms are always used negatively
and imply a critical judgment of such actions.
Someone who participates in adultery can be calledan adulterer.
Such peopleor relationships can be described as adulterous.
The word adulteress specifically refers to a woman who has engaged in adultery.
(It has been more common throughouthistory for women to be blamed—and punished—for adulterous relationships than men.)
Example: Adultery is a profound breach of trust in a marriage.
Where does adultery come from?
The first records of the word adultery come from the 1300s.
It ultimately derives from the Latin verb adulterāre,
The same word is the basis of the English verb adulterate,
meaning“to debase” or “to make impure.”
Adultery involves adults, but the word adult is based on a different root.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” is one of the Ten Commandments, and adultery is specifically prohibited by multiple religions
and even some laws.
In the past, adultery was sometimes used in a more general way
to refer to any type of sexual activity considered sinful.
Today, however, adultery typically means
that at least one of the partners is married
(whereas the word fornication is often used in a religious context
to referto any sex outside of marriage).
Why Is It Called “Adultery”
When It’s Not A Particularly“Adult” Thing To Do?
Our society’s constant obsession
with relationships and especially celebrity marriages
—with their ups and downs, and often very salacious details
—can lead us to wonder and ask big questions
about the words we use to talk about love, commitment, and desire.
While this isn’t People magazine or “Dear Abby,”
perhaps we can use our natural curiosity as an excuse
to look ata dilemma of language
that is as enigmatic asthe state of marriage itself:
How can such similar words have such different meanings?
Two words from different roots
Remarkably, the answer is that
the words don’t share a common ancestor.
Adult comes from the Latin verb adolescere, “to grow up, mature.”
Adultery,on the other hand, derives from the Old French word, avoutrie, which in turn evolved from a distinct Latin verb, adulterare, “to corrupt.”
The verb adulterate, “to debase or make impure
by adding inferior materialsor elements,” stems from the same source.
The sense of adult that means “pornographic”
emergedas a kind of reverse assumption
that adult and adultery have more direct links than they do.
The two types of adultery
Let’s look at the dictionary definition of adultery:
“voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person
and someone other than hisor her lawful spouse.”
In fact, there are two types:
single adultery (with an unmarried person) and
double adultery (with a married person.)
Here is the definitionof adult:
“having attained full sizeand strength; grown up; mature.”
What conclusions can we draw
regarding relationshipsfrom these twists of etymology?
Maybe that a real-lifedefinition of adult
is the condition of being responsible for our choices,
and that the choice of whom to love and honor
is probably the most adult decision of all.
What’s the difference between adultery and fornication?
In case you were wondering,
(in other words, adultery didn’t grow out of adult
Although both words come fromLatin
and share the same first five letters,
adultery is from adulterāre (“to pollute, defile, commit adultery”),
a word formed ultimately fromthe Latin elements
ad- “to, near” and alter “other.”
English adult comes from adultus, which is
the past participleof the Latin word adolescere (“to grow up”).
In legal usethere is a difference between adultery and fornication.
Adultery is only used when at least one of the parties involved
(either male or female) is married,
whereas fornication may be used to describe
two people who are unmarried (to each other or anyone else)
engaging in consensual sexual intercourse.
Definition: bornof adultery
Bastard is a useful word in many settings
and has a wide array of forms,
but we recognize that not everyone shares this sentiment.
Should you have need of such a word
but circumstances(or your own sense of decorum)
make the B-word unpalatable,
you might perhaps consider adulterine.
In addition to its adjectivalsense
adulterine may also function as a noun (“one who is born of adultery”),
ormay be used to mean “spurious” or “illegal.”
The children of the Marquis de Boefle, and those of the Marquis de Langey, are all, considered in a certain point of view, no other than bastards and adulterines; and, under another, they are a legitimate offspring, entitled to the rights, the honours, and the privileges of society.
— M. de Lignac, A Physical View of Man and Woman in a State of Marriage, With Anatomical Engravings, 1798
Common Errors In English Usage Dictionary
“Adultery” is often misspelled “adultry,”
as if it were something every adult should try.
This spelling error is likely to get you snickered at.
The term does not refer to all sorts of illicit sex:
at least one of the partners involved has to be married
for the relationship to be adulterous.