Definition of marriage in US English:

marriage

noun

  • 1The legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman)

    ‘a happy marriage’
    ‘the children from his first marriage’
    as modifier ‘marriage vows’
    • ‘At the time of marriage, the wife was 27 years of age and was a corporate bond trader.’
    • ‘In an effort to annul an arranged marriage, Apu tells his mother he wed Marge.’
    • ‘It was indeed mentally invigorating to enter into a debate on arranged marriages versus love marriages.’
    • ‘Strong marriages or partnerships do not just happen; they require effort.’
    • ‘When son Billy was three, his parents' marriage broke down and his father left.’
    • ‘My name is Steve, and I will be performing your marriage ceremony today.’
    • ‘By working less and staying at home more, I believed naively that my husband would come home to domestic bliss and a happy marriage would ensue.’
    • ‘And it's easy to sympathise with that, after years of supposedly happy marriage suddenly collapsing around her.’
    • ‘Only men attend the actual marriage vows, which take place in a mosque.’
    • ‘While Bernadette and Patrick did exchange wedding vows, their marriage is not legally binding.’
    • ‘The husband submits that the marriage was not a traditional one wherein the wife sacrificed her career in order to stay at home to care for children.’
    • ‘My wife's daughter from her previous marriage is coming to stay with us for a few days.’
    • ‘Nothing tied him down - no restrictions, no regulations, no marriage vows.’
    • ‘The couple's marriage was annulled nine days later.’
    • ‘At the same time, the bride's family had little control over the dowry after marriage; a husband could use his wife's money as he wished.’
    • ‘Each year after that historic ruling, the percentage of Americans who opposed interracial marriage steadily dropped.’
    • ‘Religious marriages were celebrated, but the state recognized only civil marriages performed by civil officials.’
    • ‘Serious ill-health and in 1951 the break-up of his marriage increased his problems.’
    • ‘We have about 12 weddings a year and last year we did a marriage vows renewal service which went very well.’
    • ‘Although there are innumerable legislative changes, the terms husband, wife and marriage will be retained in all existing law.’
    • ‘George often wondered why his parents' marriage was lasting as long as it had.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She seems to have painted little after her marriage in 1640.’
    • ‘Community property is generally the property a husband and wife accumulate during marriage.’
    • ‘He claims to have separated 11 months after the marriage due to the wife's infidelities.’
    • ‘He only discovered her duplicity when he found a marriage certificate in her handbag.’
    • ‘She had been refused free NHS treatment because her husband has children from a previous marriage.’
    • ‘I'd been the one he told when his parents' marriage was breaking up.’
    • ‘It is anyway a false distinction to divide marriages into the happy and the unhappy, and to say that when they are happy, ownership is unimportant.’
    • ‘Many of these unions grew into happy and successful marriages.’
    • ‘There is only one type of marriage recognized in law, and that is one of indefinite duration.’
    • ‘His common-law marriage broke up in 2000 when his wife picked up an old cocaine habit.’
    • ‘Until 1982, all marriages occurred in churches, but civil marriages have been legal since that time.’
    • ‘She refused several of his marriage proposals, but she finally relented and they got married in 1962.’
    • ‘"My second marriage had ended, and I was having a breakdown, " she says.’
    • ‘He then discusses marriage vows, the history of divorce, and modern reinterpretations.’
    • ‘Improving your marriage brings great rewards.’
    • ‘When they returned a few hours later, Jeff showed Charlie the marriage license.’
    • ‘He is married now, has been 10 years in common law marriage and has given birth to two children in that union.’
    • ‘For federal purposes like taxes, the law declares that marriage exclusively means the union of one man and one woman.’
    wedding, wedding ceremony, marriage ceremony, nuptials, union
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The state of being married.
      ‘they were celebrating 50 years of marriage’
      • ‘With National Marriage Week starting today and Valentine's Day looming we spoke to two very different couples and one divorcee about their experiences of marriage.’
      • ‘A couple's wartime romance led to 60 years of marriage.’
      • ‘But then, I thought that's what marriage was about.’
      • ‘A former British soldier and his German bride, who overcame prejudice in post-war Germany, were today celebrating 50 years of marriage.’
      • ‘But asserting that loss of individuality within marriage is still primarily a female problem is a point that seems much harder to argue in a world where roles are shifting all the time.’
      • ‘A York family marks 75 years of marriage today - as parents and daughter celebrate their golden and silver weddings respectively.’
      • ‘Their research showed that marriage brings such life-enhancing benefits as lower blood pressure, improved diet and enhanced mental well-being.’
      • ‘They were both factory hands when they married at the age of 19 and 22 and spent their first year of marriage in Calne, before moving to Melksham in 1933.’
      • ‘Was it conservative to insist that she would not allow marriage and family to stand in the way of her legal studies or, once called to the Bar, her career as a lawyer?’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘It's a very American piece, like a sketch show, a revue about love, dating, marriage, children, divorce, death, so we go from being eight to 80 in the show.’
      • ‘People often pose the question in terms of social equality, but marriage is also an institution of economic rights.’
      matrimony, holy matrimony, wedlock, married state, conjugal bond, civil partnership
      View synonyms
  • 2A combination or mixture of two or more elements.

    ‘a marriage of jazz, pop, blues, and gospel’
    • ‘The marriage between jazz music and dance has always been a passionate one.’
    • ‘A politico-military marriage combines lethal and nonlethal force to convince an enemy to accede to the victor's will.’
    • ‘What does the marriage of these two elements produce?’
    • ‘Well, our music has always been a marriage of techno, house and trance elements - dark and deep.’
    • ‘His unique marriage of African music and Christian gospel has prompted legendary artists, like Paul Simon, to record with the group.’
    union, alliance, fusion, amalgamation, combination, affiliation, association, connection, coupling, merger, unification
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (in pinochle and other card games) a combination of a king and queen of the same suit.
      • ‘A-T-K-K-Q-Q-J of trumps would score 190 for a run plus a marriage in trumps.’
      • ‘After taking a trick a player can announce a marriage (the K and Q of the same suit) for 5 extra points for the team.’
      • ‘The rule requiring the bidder to have at least a marriage in the trump suit is not always followed.’

Phrases

  • by marriage

    • As a result of a marriage.

      ‘a distant cousin by marriage’
      • ‘The terms of the order prevent him downloading or viewing images of children under the age of 16 unless they are blood relatives, relatives by marriage or godchildren.’
      • ‘The two men, who are related by marriage, were seriously wounded.’
      • ‘Olga was 16 in early 1914 when she met Mikhail Chekhov, her first cousin by marriage.’
      • ‘The sense of family identity extended to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and relatives by marriage.’
      • ‘She was some sort of cousin by marriage to Antonia's mother and the pair would sometimes engage in conversation.’
      • ‘Rather than make recommendations it invites further discussion by citing a number of options, one of which is to remove all restrictions based on relationships by marriage.’
      • ‘The definition does not include your cousins or any relations 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.’
      • ‘That commitment is then reinforced by the web of familial and other relations, created by marriage, that they have around them.’
  • in marriage

    • As husband or wife.

      ‘he asked my father for my hand in marriage’
      • ‘James IV of Scotland welcomed him and gave him his cousin in marriage.’
      • ‘He couldn't imagine giving his daughter in marriage to anyone below his status.’
      • ‘My job was to woo Ebony, the wife of the deceased, to gain her hand in marriage.’
      • ‘She takes him home and he asks her father for her hand in marriage.’
      • ‘I am sorry for the silent treatment, but I was under the impression you were a duke that was coming to ask for my sister's hand in marriage.’
      • ‘In two days time he would be back in Ireland and offer his hand in marriage to that beautiful young girl.’
      • ‘Her father offers him her hand in marriage, and she sits uncomfortably as they joke about this.’
      • ‘Nearly seventy years ago, during a visit to the falls, he asked Jenny for her hand in marriage.’
      • ‘If the woodcutter finds the key and opens the door, he will win the hand of the king's daughter in marriage and all his riches.’
      • ‘If I did that that would be as good as accepting him in marriage and I would never marry without love.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French mariage, from marier ‘marry’.

Pronunciation

marriage

/ˈmerij//ˈmɛrɪdʒ/