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alienation of affections:the diversion of a person's affection from someone (as a spouse) who has certain rights or claims to such affection usu. to a third person who is held to be the instigator or cause of the diversion called also alienation of affection compare criminal conversation NOTE: In most jurisdictions alienation of affections is no longer recognized as a basis for a civil suit.
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.