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verb (used without object), for·ni·cat·ed, for·ni·cat·ing.
  1. to commit fornication.
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Origin of fornicate1

1545–55; < Late Latin fornicātus (past participle of fornicārī to consort with prostitutes), equivalent to Latin fornic- (stem of fornix) arch, vault, basement, brothel + -ātus -ate1
Related formsfor·ni·ca·tor, noun


or for·ni·cat·ed

[fawr-ni-kit, -keyt or fawr-ni-key-tid]
adjective Biology.
  1. arched or vaulted in form.
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Origin of fornicate2

1820–30; < Latin fornicātus, equivalent to fornic- (see fornicate1) + -ātus -ate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for fornicate

Historical Examples

  • Fornicate: arched or vaulted: concave within, convex without.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

British Dictionary definitions for fornicate


  1. (intr) to indulge in or commit fornication
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Derived Formsfornicator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Late Latin fornicārī, from Latin fornix vault, brothel situated therein



  1. biology arched or hoodlike in form
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin fornicātus arched, from fornix vault
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fornicate


1550s, from Late Latin fornicatus, past participle of fornicari (see fornication). Perhaps in some cases a back-formation from fornication. Related: Fornicated; fornicating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper