Definition of marriage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmerij/


1The legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship: a happy marriage the children from his first marriage [as modifier]: marriage vows
More example sentences
  • For federal purposes like taxes, the law declares that marriage exclusively means the union of one man and one woman.
  • At the same time, the bride's family had little control over the dowry after marriage; a husband could use his wife's money as he wished.
  • Although there are innumerable legislative changes, the terms husband, wife and marriage will be retained in all existing law.
wedding, wedding ceremony, marriage ceremony, nuptials, union
1.1The 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.
(holy) matrimony, wedlock
2A combination or mixture of two or more elements: a marriage of jazz, pop, blues, and gospel
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 pinochle and other card games) a combination of a king and queen of the same suit.
Example sentences
  • The rule requiring the bidder to have at least a marriage in the trump suit is not always followed.
  • After taking a trick a player can announce a marriage (the K and Q of the same suit) for 5 extra points for the team.
  • A-T-K-K-Q-Q-J of trumps would score 190 for a run plus a marriage in trumps.



by marriage

As a result of a marriage: a distant cousin by marriage
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
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