The Meaning of Cuckoldry: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of cuckoldry? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word cuckoldry, including its definition, etymology, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the word cuckoldry mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Vocabulary, and other sources like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word cuckoldry is a noun that refers to the practice of making cuckolds or the state of being a cuckold. This refers to a man whose wife cheats on him with another man. This seduction or wife’s infidelities could cause insecurity for the husband, or the errant wife could have an agreement with her partner. Many people believe that this would make the husband a weak person who cannot satisfy his wife, but different couples have different agreements about their sex lives. The word cuckoldry is three syllables – cuck-old-ry, and the pronunciation of cuckoldry is ˈkə-kəl-drē.

When the term alludes to the sex act of cuckoldry, it can be considered a fetish by some, and in other situations simply be cheating on one’s partner, according to Yahoo Sports. The word cuckold usually implies that the man is unaware of the woman’s infidelity and may only find out when she has a baby that is not his. However, this could also be a fetish act in which husband derives sexual pleasure from watching his wife have sex with a man who has a larger penis. This would be discussed by the couple and can vary in degrees from roleplay to actively having the wife engage in sex in front of her husband. In this case, the husband would be referred to as a wittol.

According to GQ, the word cuckold has become popularized on social media platforms like Twitter as the shortened form “cuck.” The alt-right conservative men have begun to use this term as a shorthand insult for a person who has any perceived weakness. This term was added to Urban Dictionary in 2007. It gained traction during the 2016 election, in which the portmanteau “cuckservative” born from the words cuck and conservative were used to imply that the mainstream conservatives like Jeb Bush are weak and or effeminate. They believed that Donald Trump embodied the opposite of a cuckservative. In modern America, the word cuck has an air of sexism, misogyny, racism and racist ideals due to its association with the alt right. These subtleties are important to know if you are going to use the word cuckold. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean cuckoldry. You may notice that some of these words look similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words that look and sound similar between languages and also have the same meaning. This list of translations of cuckoldry is provided by Word Sense

  •  Dutch: hoorndrager‎ (masc.)
  •  Korean: 오쟁이진‎
  •  Italian: cornuto‎ (masc.), becco‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: încornorat‎ (masc.)
  •  Breton: dogan‎
  •  Czech: paroháč‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: (“horn carrier”) рогоно́сец‎ (masc.)
  •  Vietnamese: cắm sừng‎
  •  Corsican: curnutu‎
  •  Japanese: コキュー‎ (kokyū), コキュ‎ (kokyu)
  •  German: Gehörnter‎ (masc.), Hahnrei‎ (masc.), Hornträger‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: κερατάς‎ (masc.)
  •  Swedish: hanrej‎
  •  Volapük: koküfäb‎
  •  Turkish: (vulgar) kavat‎, boynuzlu‎, (obsolete) deyyus‎
  •  Estonian: sarvekandja‎
  •  Danish: hanrej‎ (common)
  •  Catalan: cornut‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: cornudo‎ (masc.)
  •  Albanian: brinar‎
  •  French: cocu‎ (masc.), cornard‎ (masc.)
  •  Arabic: دَيُّوث‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: aisankannattaja‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: рогоња‎
  •  Polish: rogacz‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: corno‎, chifrudo‎
  •  Sicilian: cuinnutu‎ (masc.)
  •  Hebrew: (“horned one”) קרנן‎
  •  Esperanto: kokrito‎
  •  Bulgarian: рогоносец‎ (masc.)

What is the origin of the word cuckoldry?

According to Etymonline, the word cuckoldry has been used since the 1520s in the Middle Ages to refer to adultery that is affecting the honor of the husband. This comes from the word cuckold, which is a noun and a derisive term for someone whose wife is an adulteress. This term has been used since the early 13c Old English as kukewald and cokewold, from the Old French cucuault. This comes from the female cuckoo bird’s habit of changing mates or leaving eggs in another bird’s nest. This could be due to evolutionary biology in which the bird believes the arrival of a baby would have better parental effort from another bird.The verb cuckold and cuckolding have been used to describe the actions of a wife or her paramours since the 1580s.

What are synonyms of the word cuckoldry?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word cuckoldry. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another given word or phrase. Synonyms are a very useful tool because they can help you avoid repeating yourself and they can also help you expand your English language vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word cuckoldry is provided by Thesaurus. There are not many opposite words for the term cuckold.

  •  wuss
  •  baby
  •  sissy
  •  coward
  •  crybaby
  •  yellow belly
  •  milksop
  •  jellyfish
  •  pantywaist
  •  namby-pamby
  •  cream puff
  •  chicken
  •  pushover
  •  pansy
  •  wimp
  •  daisy
  •  momma’s boy

Overall, the word cuckoldry is used to refer to the sexual conquests of married women, specifically when the married woman has sexual intercourse or offspring while the husband is watching. This act of adultery and whiff of unfaithfulness come from the carefree bird the cuckoo, who laid eggs in other birds’ nests and had many partners.  It is a rude gesture to call someone the term cuckold or cuck and can cause humiliation. Due to this term’s association with alt right groups, stay away from using it unless you are certain that one will not mistake it for a sexist comment. 


  1. cuckoldry | Origin and meaning of cuckoldry | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Cuckold: Meaning, Origin, Translation | Word Sense
  3. Cuckoldry Synonyms | Thesaurus
  4. Cuckoldry Definition of Cuckoldry | Merriam-Webster 
  5. What Is Cuckolding? The Meaning of the Fetish Sex Term Some Couples Are Embracing | Yahoo Sports 
  6. cuckoldry – Dictionary Definition | Vocabulary