cuckoldry

[ kuhk-uhl-dree ]
/ ˈkʌk əl dri /

noun

the act of making someone's husband a cuckold.
the state or quality of being a cuckold.

Origin of cuckoldry

First recorded in 1520–30; cuckold + -ry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does cuckoldry mean?

Cuckold is an insulting term for a husband whose spouse has had a sexual affair. Cuckoldry can mean one of two things: the act of making man a cuckold (by having an affair with his spouse), or the state of being a cuckold.

Cuckold and cuckoldry are applied only to men. Both terms are intended to be insulting and shameful to the man they are applied to. Cuckoldry is sometimes also used to describe behaviors of animals—which is perhaps the only way it or cuckold can be used that’s not offensive.

Where does cuckoldry come from?

Cuckold is a very old word—there are records of its use from the 1200s. It is derived from the Middle English cukeweld and the Anglo-French cucuald, which are based on names of the cuckoo bird. Cuckold originally meant “an adulterer,” a reference to the the cuckoo’s practice of laying its eggs in other birds’ nests. Cuckoldry was first recorded in the English language in the 1500s. It is formed with the suffix -ry, indicating a condition.

By definition, cuckoldry always involves adultery (unfaithfulness in marriage), as opposed to cheating or infidelity outside of marriage. And the state of cuckoldry is only applied to men. Cuckoldry implies that the husband was unable to satisfy his spouse (traditionally, his wife). For much of its history, the word was associated with sha

Cuckold is an insulting term for a husband whose spouse has had a sexual affair. Cuckoldry can mean one of two things: the act of making man a cuckold (by having an affair with his spouse), or the state of being a cuckold.

Cuckold and cuckoldry are applied only to men. Both terms are intended to be insulting and shameful to the man they are applied to. Cuckoldry is sometimes also used to describe behaviors of animals—which is perhaps the only way it or cuckold can be used that’s not offensive. me, with a cuckold being treated as the subject of contempt or ridicule. This theme found its way into literature: cuckoldry was a topic in some of Shakespeare’s plays. (Shakespeare used the word cuckold multiple times, perhaps most notably in Othello, whose title character worries that his wife will make him a cuckold.)

The offensive slang term cuck that emerged in the 2010s is a shortening of cuckold but carries an additional racist subtext.

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What are some other forms of cuckoldry?

What are some words that share a root or word element with cuckoldry

 

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing cuckoldry?

How is cuckoldry used in real life?

Cuckoldry is always used negatively, especially in a way that’s intended to indicate that such a situation is shameful. It is also used in a scientific context relating to certain animal behaviors.

 

Example sentences from the Web for cuckoldry