Share this entry

Share this page

intercourse

Syllabification: in·ter·course
Pronunciation: /ˈin(t)ərˌkôrs
 
/

Definition of intercourse in English:

noun

1Communication or dealings between individuals or groups: everyday social intercourse
More example sentences
  • His feeling is that the community needs the service as a place for social intercourse.
  • Travel to almost any city or resort in Europe and you'll see Irish, Scots and Welsh in friendly social intercourse with the locals.
  • Honestly, this constant social intercourse is just exhausting.
Synonyms
interchange, communication, communion, correspondence;
negotiations, bargaining, transactions;
trade, traffic, commerce
informal doings, truck
1.1 short for sexual intercourse.
Example sentences
  • During intercourse, try the stop-and-start technique when the sensations become strong.
  • Heterosexual intercourse is the most common mode of transmission of HIV in poor countries.
  • Patterson claimed the intercourse had been consensual and encouraged by her.
Synonyms
informal nookie, whoopee
technical coitus, coition
formal fornication

Origin

late Middle English (denoting communication or dealings): from Old French entrecours 'exchange, commerce', from Latin intercursus, from intercurrere 'intervene', from inter- 'between' + currere 'run'. The specifically sexual use arose in the late 18th century.

More
  • cursor from (Middle English):

    Nowadays we call the movable indicator on our computer screen the cursor. In medieval English a cursor was a running messenger: it is a borrowing of the Latin word for ‘a runner’, and comes from currere ‘to run’. From the late 16th century cursor became the term for a sliding part of a slide rule or other instrument, marked with a line for pinpointing the position on a scale that you want, the forerunner of the computing sense. Currere is the source of very many English words including course (Middle English) something you run along; concourse (Late Middle English) originally a crowd who had ‘run together’; current (Middle English) originally meaning ‘running, flowing’; discursive (late 16th century) running away from the point; excursion (late 16th century) running out to see things; intercourse (Late Middle English) originally an exchange running between people; and precursor (Late Middle English) one who goes before; as well as supplying the cur part of concur (Late Middle English); incur (Late Middle English); occur (Late Middle English) (from ob- ‘against’); and recur (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with intercourse

watercourse

Definition of intercourse in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…