Definition of sponsalia in English:



mass nounrare
  • Engagement or marriage.

    ‘Jacques should not have entered into sponsalia if his first wife was still alive’
    • ‘In those days the formal procedure of a wedding scarcely differed from that of a betrothal and both these ceremonies could be called by the same name 'sponsalia'.’
    • ‘In the absence of either the ordinary or the parish priest, the law requires that two witnesses shall sign the sponsalia.’
    • ‘What parish priest is the authorized witness of sponsalia?’
    • ‘Tokens were customarily exchanged at the time of a sponsalia.’
    • ‘Parties to the sponsalia might still resile, and if they did, could not be compelled to complete the marriage.’
    engagement, betrothment, marriage contract
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: Latin, ‘betrothal’, neuter plural of sponsalis (adjective), from sponsare ‘espouse, betroth’.