Definition of fornicate in English:



[NO OBJECT]humorous, formal
  • Have sexual intercourse with someone one is not married to.

    • ‘If our patients had no alternative but to fornicate, perhaps it would be a case of passing the buck.’
    • ‘The final chorus in this production reverses the emotional polarities of the whole opera: singing about their new-won freedom, the humans fight, flirt and fornicate.’
    • ‘A man of irreproachable personal piety who nevertheless has no objection to his neighbors’ boozing on the Sabbath or fornicating in haylofts is not a Puritan.’
    • ‘They traveled and probably fornicated in cars made by giant multinational corporations.’
    • ‘He thus has the knowledge that he should avoid fornication, but he fornicates nonetheless because he actually sees the fornication as an act of pleasure to be pursued.’


Middle English (as fornication): from ecclesiastical Latin fornicat- arched, from fornicari, from Latin fornix, fornic- vaulted chamber, later brothel.