Definition of marriage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmarɪdʒ/


1The legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman): a happy marriage the children from his first marriage [as modifier]: marriage vows
More example sentences
  • A man who was in a coma for six weeks after a road accident and can't remember his wedding has renewed his marriage vows to his wife who is helping him back to health.
  • It is anyway a false distinction to divide marriages into the happy and the unhappy, and to say that when they are happy, ownership is unimportant.
  • While Bernadette and Patrick did exchange wedding vows, their marriage is not legally binding.
1.1 [mass noun] The state of being married: they were celebrating 50 years of marriage
More example sentences
  • But with large numbers of unions still ending in divorce and many couples choosing to cohabit and raise children out of wedlock, has marriage had its day?
  • People often pose the question in terms of social equality, but marriage is also an institution of economic rights.
  • It's a very American piece, like a sketch show, a revue about love, dating, marriage, children, divorce, death, so we go from being eight to 80 in the show.
2A combination or mixture of elements: her music is a marriage of funk, jazz, and hip-hop
More example sentences
  • The marriage between jazz music and dance has always been a passionate one.
  • What does the marriage of these two elements produce?
  • A politico-military marriage combines lethal and nonlethal force to convince an enemy to accede to the victor's will.
2.1(In bezique and other card games) a combination of a king and queen of the same suit.



by marriage

As a result of a marriage: the estate passed by marriage to the Burlingtons
More example sentences
  • Olga was 16 in early 1914 when she met Mikhail Chekhov, her first cousin by marriage.
  • Remember, it is forbidden to fall out with your family, whether they are blood relations or relatives by marriage, distant relatives or whatever.
  • They were distant relatives, uncles and aunts by marriage, cousins-in-law, and more cousins second and third removed.

in marriage

As husband or wife: he asked my father for my hand in marriage
More example sentences
  • My job was to woo Ebony, the wife of the deceased, to gain her hand in marriage.
  • He couldn't imagine giving his daughter in marriage to anyone below his status.
  • If I did that that would be as good as accepting him in marriage and I would never marry without love.


Middle English: from Old French mariage, from marier 'marry'.

Words that rhyme with marriage

carriage, disparage, Harwich, intermarriage, miscarriage

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mar|riage

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