Adultery Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Adultery, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Adultery?

n. it denotes the wealth and property which a deceased person owned at the time of his/her death and not at the time of writing a will.

History and Meaning of Adultery

Adultery is a legal term that refers to voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not their spouse. This conduct is considered wrong and immoral, and can have legal consequences such as divorce or criminal charges depending on the jurisdiction. The definition of adultery has evolved over time, changing in accordance with social, cultural, and religious norms of different societies.

In earlier times, adultery was primarily viewed as a crime against a man's property, as women were often considered as property of their husbands. Adultery was seen as a violation of a man's ownership over his wife, and it was a criminal offense that was punishable by death, public humiliation, and other severe penalties. These views have changed over the years, and while it remains a serious offense in some cultures and religions, many countries have decriminalized or abolished laws against adultery.

Examples of Adultery

  1. In a divorce case, a husband accuses his wife of committing adultery with her coworker, which led to the breakdown of their marriage.

  2. A pastor is caught having an affair with a member of his congregation, resulting in him losing his position and respect within the community.

  3. A woman finds out that her husband has been cheating on her and decides to file for divorce, citing adultery as the grounds for their separation.

Legal Terms Similar to Adultery

  1. Bigamy: The crime of marrying someone while still being legally married to someone else.

  2. Fornication: Voluntary sexual intercourse between two unmarried individuals.

  3. Concubinage: A relationship in which a person maintains a long-term sexual relationship with someone who is not their spouse, but does not marry them.