Definition of marriage in English:


Line breaks: mar|riage
Pronunciation: /ˈmarɪdʒ


  • 1The formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife: 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.
    • By other testimony of her witnesses, particularly Jean, the marriage was a happy one.
    • So the law quite rightly has a continuing bias in favour of marriages and civil unions.
    wedding, wedding ceremony, marriage ceremony, nuptials, union
    archaic espousal
  • 1.1(In some jurisdictions) a formal union between partners of the same sex.
  • 1.2 [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?
    • But real equality is reached when marriage is opened for gay people as well.
    • In 1985, they were guaranteed legal equality with men within marriage.
    matrimony, holy matrimony, wedlock, married state, conjugal bond, civil partnership


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'.

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