[ fawr-ni-key-shuh n ]
/ ˌfɔr nɪˈkeɪ ʃən /


voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried persons or two persons not married to each other.
Bible. idolatry.

Origin of fornication

1300–50; Middle English fornicacioun < Late Latin fornicātiōn- (stem of fornicātiō). See fornicate1, -ion

Related forms

for·ni·ca·to·ry [fawr-ni-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈfɔr nɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective

Can be confused

formication fornication Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fornication

British Dictionary definitions for fornication


/ (ˌfɔːnɪˈkeɪʃən) /


voluntary sexual intercourse outside marriage
law voluntary sexual intercourse between two persons of the opposite sex, where one is or both are unmarried
Bible sexual immorality in general, esp adultery

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

Medicine definitions for fornication


[ fôr′nĭ-kāshən ]


Sexual intercourse between partners who are not married to each other.

Related forms

forni•cate′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.