Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Characterized by adulteration; spurious.
  • adj. Unauthorized by law; illegal.
  • adj. Born of adultery: adulterine offspring.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Spurious; due to adulteration.
  • adj. Born of adultery.
  • adj. Pertaining to adultery.
  • adj. Illegal; unlicensed.
  • n. One born of an adulterous union.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Proceeding from adulterous intercourse. Hence: Spurious; without the support of law; illegal.
  • n. An illegitimate child.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of adulterous origin; born of adultery.
  • Relating or pertaining to adultery; involving or implying adultery: as, adulterine fiction; adulterine marriage (used by St. Augustine of a second marriage after divorce).
  • Characterized by adulteration; spurious; base: as, adulterine drugs or metals.
  • Illegitimate; illicit; unauthorized: as, adulterine castles (castles built by the Norman barons in England, after the conquest, without royal warrant).
  • n. In civil law, a child begotten in adultery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. conceived in adultery

Etymologies

Latin adulterīnus, from adulter, adulterer, perhaps back-formation from adulterāre, to pollute; see adulterate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin adulterinus (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The "adulterine" castles were destroyed, not quite so rapidly as Henry desired, but still with some energy.

    The History of England from the Norman Conquest to the Death of John (1066-1216)

  • Upon paying a fine to the king, the charter seems generally to have been readily granted; and when any particular class of artificers or traders thought proper to act as a corporation without a charter, such adulterine guilds, as they were called, were not always disfranchised upon that account, but obliged to fine annually to the king for permission to exercise their usurped privileges.

    X. Book I. Of Wages and Profit in the Different Employments of Labour and Stock

  • Sometimes we find a mound which seems to proclaim its position, but memory is silent, and the people of England, if the story of the chronicler be true, have to be grateful to Henry II, who set himself to work to root up and destroy very many of these adulterine castles which were the abodes of tyranny and oppression.

    Vanishing England

  • He sent Stephen's mercenaries over the sea and completed the destruction of the 'adulterine castles.'

    A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII

  • The castles which had sprung up during the civil war without the licence of the king -- the 'adulterine castles,' as they were called -- and there were no less than 365 [10] of them -- were to be destroyed, and order and good government were to return.

    A Student's History of England, v. 1 (of 3) From the earliest times to the Death of King Edward VII

  • Certainly there are Carolingian cases of rebels 'castles being demolished, but these aren't adulterine castles in the later English sense, these are just castles that were in the wrong hands.

    A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

  • Upon paying a fine to the king, the charter feems ge - nerally to have been readily granted; and when any particular clafs of artificers or traders thought proper to a6l as a corporation without a charter, fuch adulterine guilds, as they were called, were not always disfranchifed upon that account, but obliged to fine annually to the king for permiffion to exercife their ufurped pri - vileges *.

    The Works of Adam Smith ...: With an Account of His Life and Writings

  • He associated himself with the justiciar in the appointment of royal officials; he invoked the papal authority to put down "adulterine castles," and to prevent any baron having more than one royal stronghold in his custody; he prolonged the truce with France, and strove to pacify the Prince of North Wales; he procured the resumption of the royal domain, and rebuked Bishop Peter and the justiciar for remissness in dealing with Jewish usurers; he filled up bishoprics at his own discretion.

    The History of England From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377)

  • a corporation, without a charter, such adulterine guilds, as they were called, were not always disfranchised upon that account, but obliged to fine annually to the king, for permission to exercise their usurped privileges {See Madox Firma Burgi p. 26 etc.}.

    An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

  • Satan "and" professed enemies of God "trying to bring in" adulterine rites "and vitiate the pure worship.

    The Age of the Reformation

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Comments

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  • Ooh...

    August 25, 2008

  • Well, I've actually only got those two so far.

    Let's make it an open list, then: http://wordie.org/lists/16088. All contributions gratefully received.

    August 25, 2008

  • Ha ha!! If you have a list for those, I'd like to see it. :)

    August 25, 2008

  • Slowly but surely I'm building up a vocabulary of dubious-sounding but actually innocuous words with which to confuse innocent ladies who might be invited to don a coverslut and come to tour an adulterine castle.

    Checking a couple of dictionaries suggests this sense is also applied to 'adulterine guilds'.

    August 25, 2008

  • An unlicensed castle; castle built without the liege lord's approval.

    August 24, 2008