The use of this word as short for sexual intercourse (first recorded in 1798 but not common before the 20c) has made it difficult to use it in its general meaning ‘communication or dealings between individuals, nations, etc.’, and a claim such as that of Maria Eliza Rundell (1745–1828) in her New System of Domestic Cookery that a wife's role was to provide ‘the sweet refuge of a husband fatigued by intercourse with a jarring world’ might now be seriously misunderstood. Even the phrase social intercourse, unambiguous though it is in print, can cause uncertainty when heard in the run of ordinary conversation.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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  • intercourse — intercourse, commerce, traffic, dealings, communication, communion, conversation, converse, correspondence are comparable when meaning the connection established between persons or peoples through a medium that permits interchange (as of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • intercourse — [ ɛ̃tɛrkurs ] n. f. • 1839; mot angl. , de inter et course « cours » 1 ♦ Dr. mar. Droit réciproque d accès et de pratique de certains ports accordé mutuellement aux navires de deux nations. 2 ♦ Rare Ensemble des relations entre habitants de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Intercourse — In ter*course, n. [Formerly entercourse, OF. entrecours commerce, exchange, F. entrecours a reciprocal right on neighboring lands, L. intercursus a running between, fr. intercurrere to run between. See {Inter }, and {Course}.] 1. A commingling;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intercourse — or sexual intercourse [in′tər kôrs΄] n. 1. [ME entercours < OFr entrecours < L intercursus: see INTER & COURSE] 2. munication or dealings between or among people, countries, etc.; interchange of products, services, ideas, feelings, etc. 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • intercourse — [n1] sexual act carnal knowledge, coition, coitus, copulation, fornication, intimacy, love making, relations, sex, sexual relations; concept 375 intercourse [n2] communication; business exchange association, commerce, communion, connection,… …   New thesaurus

  • intercourse — ► NOUN 1) communication or dealings between people. 2) sexual intercourse. ORIGIN Latin intercursus, from intercurrere intervene …   English terms dictionary

  • intercourse — index business (commerce), commerce, communication (discourse), contact (association), dealings …   Law dictionary

  • intercourse — (n.) mid 15c., communication to and fro, from O.Fr. entrecours exchange, commerce, from L.L. intercursus a running between, intervention, from intercursus, pp. of intercurrere to run between, from L. inter between (see INTER (Cf. inter )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • intercourse — noun 1 sex ADJECTIVE ▪ sexual ▪ heterosexual, homosexual ▪ anal, vaginal ▪ consensual, non consensual …   Collocations dictionary

  • intercourse — n. 1) to have intercourse with 2) anal; heterosexual; oral; sexual intercourse 3) social intercourse 4) intercourse among, between; with * * * [ ɪntəkɔːs] between heterosexual oral sexual intercourse with anal …   Combinatory dictionary

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