Definition of subarrhation in English:



mass nounrare, historical
  • An ancient marriage contract in which gifts were given by the man to the woman.

    • ‘The fact of subarrhation has to be certain; so that nothing can be proved from ringgiving per se.’
    • ‘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 old mode of espousals was by subarrhation.’
    • ‘The exchange of the collar-stud between Aziz and Fielding may be compared with subarrhation.’
    engagement, betrothment, marriage contract
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin subarrhatio(n-), from subarrhare ‘espouse, betroth’.