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betroth

Line breaks: be|troth
Pronunciation: /bɪˈtrəʊð
 
, -θ/

Definition of betroth in English:

verb

[with object] dated
Formally engage (someone) to be married: in no time I shall be betrothed to Isabel
More example sentences
  • The circumstances of his early life are obscure, but we know that in 1277 he was formally betrothed to his future wife, Gemma Donati, and that in 1289 he took part in military operations against Arezzo and Pisa.
  • In 1428 James I's daughter was betrothed to the dauphin, and Scots in the French army helped enable the success of Jeanne, and the subsequent expulsion of the English, completed in 1453.
  • But you'll have to wait till I'm betrothed to start roaming around on our trip around Angkora!

Origin

Middle English betreuthe: from be- (expressing transitivity) + truth. The change in the second syllable was due to association with troth.

More
  • plight from (Old English):

    In the traditional marriage ceremony the bride and groom each say ‘I plight thee my troth’, meaning ‘I pledge my word’. Plight means ‘to promise solemnly’, and pledge (Middle English) is probably a distant relative. Troth is an old variant of truth, meaning ‘giving your word’ and still preserved in betroth (Middle English). The other meaning of plight, ‘a predicament’, is from Old French plit ‘fold’, suggesting the idea of a difficult or complicated situation. Other words from plit include Middle English pliant (Late Middle English) literally ‘foldable’; and pliable (Late Middle English); pliers (mid 16th century) tools for bending things; and ply (Late Middle English) in the sense of ‘thickness’ as in plywood (early 20th century). (The other ply as in ply with drink, is simply a shortening of apply, see appliance). Pleat and plait (Middle English) are further relatives. Compliant (mid 17th century) looks as if it should be a relative, but its immediate source, to comply (early 17th century), originally came from Latin complere ‘to fulfil, accomplish’, although compliant later developed senses influenced by its similarity to pliant.

Derivatives

betrothment

1
noun rare

Words that rhyme with betroth

clothe, loathe

Definition of betroth in:

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