One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounmass nounrare, historical
An ancient marriage contract in which gifts were given by the man to the woman.
engagement, betrothment, marriage contractView synonyms
- ‘The old mode of espousals was by subarrhation.’
- ‘After this came the gift of the ring, a part of the ceremony which in ecclesiastical phraseology long retained the name of the subarrhation.’
- ‘It takes the place of a long form of blessing which followed the subarrhation in the ancient Office.’
- ‘The fact of subarrhation has to be certain; so that nothing can be proved from ringgiving per se.’
- ‘The exchange of the collar-stud between Aziz and Fielding may be compared with subarrhation.’
Early 17th century: from Latin subarrhatio(n-), from subarrhare ‘espouse, betroth’.
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