I understand the literal meaning of uxorious, but does it have sexual implications? That is, does it just mean that one is excessively devoted to one’s wife, or does it imply excessive sexual interest in her?

For example, Lord Byron wrote:

The same things change their names at such a rate;
For instance—passion in a lover’s glorious,
But in a husband is pronounced uxorious.

There it seems to carry a possibly sexual tone, but I’ve seen other cases where it doesn’t.

  • 1
    I don't know if this helps you or not, but the word uxoricide has become the standard scientific term for studying murder of female domestic partners in evolutionary psychology. I doubt it would have been selected as such if its root had overtly vulgar connotations.
    – Uticensis
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 21:20
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    @Billare --- uxor means "wife" in Latin. The root doesn't have vulgar connotations --- but I'm asking about one of its derivatives.
    – JasonFruit
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 2:06
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    In the context of both his time and the fact that it's poetic, I really don't think Byron's passion has significant sexual overtones. It just means overtly (perhaps extravagantly) displayed positive feelings about the other person. Commented May 26, 2011 at 15:26

2 Answers 2


I don't think there are any sexual connotations to the word. But it does invariably imply a degree of condemnation. An uxorious man isn't just very devoted to his wife, which might be said approvingly. It means (in the opinion of the speaker, at least) that he's excessively devoted.


The meaning reported by the NOAD for uxorious is "having or showing an excessive or submissive fondness for one's wife." The definition for fondness is then "affection or liking for someone or something."

I don't think anybody would use fondness with sexual implications.

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    The problem with dictionary definitions is that they convey connotation very poorly (almost by definition).
    – JasonFruit
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 20:27

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