sodomize

[ sod-uh-mahyz ]
/ ˈsɒd əˌmaɪz /

verb (used with object), sod·om·ized, sod·om·iz·ing.

to subject to sodomy; commit sodomy upon.

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Also especially British, sod·om·ise .

Origin of sodomize

First recorded in 1950–55; sodom(y) + -ize

OTHER WORDS FROM sodomize

sod·om·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

What does sodomize mean?

To sodomize is to engage in sodomy with someone. Historically, sodomy has been interpreted as any of a variety of sexual acts that are not intended for reproduction, including anal sex, oral sex, or any nonheterosexual sex act. It is most commonly applied to anal sex between men.

Sodomize is often used in an offensive way meant to condemn such sexual activity as deviant. However, when sodomize is used to mean “to commit anal rape (of someone),” it usually does not have an anti-gay connotation.

The history of the word, including the legal prohibition of activities labeled sodomy, is inseparable from a long history of institutionalized prejudice and hatred toward  gay people. For this reason, the term is inappropriate or offensive in many contexts.

Where does sodomize come from?

The first evidence of the word sodomy comes from the 1300s, and records of sodomize appear in the 1600s. But the history of the word is ancient. The word sodomy comes from Sodom, the name of the city described in the Biblical account in the Book of Genesis. According to the account, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for what are portrayed as unacceptable sexual practices, primarily anal sex between men.

Among Christians throughout history, the predominant interpretation of this passage of the Bible is that sodomy is a sin involving nonprocreative sex (sex that is not intended for procreation, or reproduction), especially nonheterosexual sex and anal sex. (Other Christians believe that the passage instead condemns rape and violence.)

Throughout history, sodomy has often been made illegal, and laws prohibiting sodomy still exist in some countries. Such laws were not abolished in English until the 1960s, and some remained in effect in some U.S. states until the 2000s.

The prevailing Biblical interpretation likely influenced the legal definition of sodomy for much of its history. Though this meaning has varied, it usually involved the prohibition of nonprocreative sexual activity, especially anal sex between men.

This is how the terms sodomy and sodomize are often used today. However, they sometimes have the added implication that the action is nonconsensual (that is, sodomize is used to mean “to commit anal rape”).

Historically, the term sodomite has been applied to people who have engaged in sodomy, especially as a term of contempt. In the same way, the word buggery is a vulgar, offensive synonym for sodomy.

Keep in mind ... ?

Sodomize is sometimes used in news reports to describe a sexual assault involving anal rape. But sodomy and sodomize are also often used as offensive terms that condemn nonheterosexual sex.

British Dictionary definitions for sodomize

sodomize

sodomise

/ (ˈsɒdəˌmaɪz) /

verb

(tr) to be the active partner in anal intercourse
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