By definition, of course, a cuckold is the “husband of an adulteress.”
Speak, I say, have you considered what it is to cuckold your husband?
Right; and who so fit to make a man a cuckold, as hee that keepes his wife?
Monogamy introduces two permanent social characters that were formerly unknown: the standing lover of the wife and the cuckold.
I knew what I was about, and did not fear to be made a cuckold in spite of myself.
Leuillet, in his turn, burst out laughing at the notion that he might have made a cuckold of Souris.
And while the Colonel laughed at the cuckold, the cuckold laughed at the dupe.
Then I may be a cuckold still for aught I know: what will become of me?
A little more or a little less will make him no more of a cuckold!
Whether wouldst thou be jealous without cause, or be a cuckold and know nothing of it?
mid-13c., kukewald, from Old French cucuault, from cocu (see cuckoo) + pejorative suffix -ault, of Germanic origin. So called from the female bird's alleged habit of changing mates, or her authentic habit of leaving eggs in another bird's nest.
In Modern French the identity is more obvious: Coucou for the bird and cocu for the betrayed husband. German Hahnrei (13c.), from Low German, is of obscure origin. The second element seems to be connected to words for "ardent," and suggests perhaps "sexually aggressive hen," with transferal to humans, but Kluge suggests rather a connection to words for "capon" and "castrated." Related: Cuckoldry.
1580s, from cuckold (n.). Related: Cuckolded; cuckolding.