Definition of marriage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛrɪdʒ/


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
  • 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.
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.
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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mar·riage

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