seduction (n.)

1520s, "act of seducing (someone) to error; enticement, especially to evil," from French séduction, from Latin seductionem (nominative seductio), noun of action from past-participle stem of seducere "lead away, lead aside or astray" (see seduce).

Originally with reference to conduct or beliefs; the sexual sense of "act of persuading to surrender one's chastity" is by 1769, at first always with women as the objects. Alternative noun seducement is attested from 1580s. The earlier appearance of seduction in Middle English (seducioun, late 14c.) with a sense of "treason, treachery" probably is a confusion with sedition, which confusion also is found in Old French seducion "treason, betrayal."

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updated on April 07, 2022