Adulterine – Definition & Meaning

Adulterine is a term that is not commonly used in everyday language, but it has a distinct meaning that is worth exploring. The word is often used in legal contexts, particularly in relation to inheritance and property rights. In this article, we will define adulterine, explore its origins, and examine its meaning in different dictionaries. We will also look at its associations, synonyms, and antonyms, as well as its root words. Finally, we will provide some example sentences to help illustrate the use of this word.


Adulterine is an adjective that is used to describe something that is illegitimate or born out of wedlock. It can also refer to something that is counterfeit or not genuine. In legal contexts, it is often used to describe a child who is born to a woman who is not married to the child’s father.


The word adulterine comes from the Latin word adulterinus, which means “born of adultery.” The word has been in use in English since the 15th century and has been used in legal contexts for centuries.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of adulterine is consistent across different dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “of illegitimate birth; born out of wedlock.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “illegitimate” or “not genuine.” defines it as “illegitimate” or “born of adultery.”


Adulterine is often associated with legal contexts, particularly in relation to inheritance and property rights. It is also associated with the idea of illegitimacy and the social stigma that has historically been attached to children born out of wedlock.


There are several synonyms for adulterine, including illegitimate, bastard, spurious, counterfeit, and fake.


The antonyms of adulterine are legitimate and genuine.

The same root words

The root word of adulterine is adulterate, which means to make impure or to weaken the strength or quality of something. Adulterate comes from the Latin word adulterare, which means “to corrupt.”

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word adulterine:

  • The court ruled that the child was adulterine and therefore not entitled to inherit from his father’s estate.
  • The antique dealer was caught selling adulterine artifacts that he had made himself.
  • The politician’s promise to lower taxes was exposed as adulterine when it was revealed that he had no plan to do so.
  • The social stigma attached to children born adulterine has diminished over time, but it still exists in some communities.
  • The company’s claim that its product was all-natural was exposed as adulterine when it was revealed that it contained synthetic ingredients.
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