Definition of morganatic in English:



  • Relating to or denoting a marriage in which neither the spouse of lower rank, nor any children, have any claim to the possessions or title of the spouse of higher rank.

    ‘he contracted a morganatic marriage with a German-born actress’
    • ‘As Julie was not royal, their marriage was considered morganatic, meaning that Julie and their children could not use Alexander's Hessian title.’
    • ‘Sigvard, onto his third morganatic marriage, continued to harbour bitterness about his nephew King's decision to grant Lilian the title of princess right up until his death a few years ago.’
    • ‘Be that as it may, if Parliament and the Commonwealth had agreed to a morganatic marriage or if Edward VIII had not abdicated but given up Wallis instead, how would history be today?’
    • ‘The royals may be forced to contemplate a quiet, morganatic marriage.’
    • ‘In advising Edward VIII against a morganatic marriage to Mrs Simpson he acted with the utmost constitutional propriety.’
    • ‘As this was a morganatic marriage, their five children should not have been eligible for the succession.’
    • ‘Would it be morganatic or would she actually become Queen?’
    • ‘A morganatic marriage is one between a member of the royal house and a wife not of equal birth, in which the wife does not take her husband's rank.’


Early 18th century: from modern Latin morganaticus, from medieval Latin matrimonium ad morganaticam marriage with a morning gift (because a morning gift, given by a husband to his wife on the morning after the marriage, was the wife's sole entitlement in a marriage of this kind).