Definition of spouse in US English:



  • A husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.

    • ‘There is no doubt that Russell made a mess of his relations with his spouses and children.’
    • ‘I do have a lot of sympathy for the unfamous spouse who is asked to step out of the frame during red-carpet photo calls.’
    • ‘Before we leave, we each take back our stone with our spouse's name written on it.’
    • ‘Money and human relationships are cut off for children, spouses, younger brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and other relatives.’
    • ‘One spouse may be under 55 as long as the other spouse is at least 55 years old.’
    • ‘It is common for customers' husbands or wives to pick up pieces to surprise their spouses when they get home.’
    • ‘The characters continued to cheat on their spouses, let money become their obsession, and debated the American dream for the hopes of one day obtaining happiness.’
    • ‘And why do people cheat when they love their spouse and feel little or nothing for their extramarital partners?’
    • ‘What do you do when you meet the spouse of the person your spouse is having an affair with?’
    • ‘For example, don't give in to pressure from spouses, relatives, friends.’
    • ‘At the guesthouse that evening the head of the university foreign affairs office and his secretary come to talk to all foreign teachers and their spouses.’
    • ‘Some calls to spouses later, and the rest was history.’
    • ‘They took the plunge as entrepreneurial spouses in 1999 and now have a 27-employee company with $3 million in sales.’
    • ‘The man feels that his spouse is slipping away from him, while she feels unable to penetrate his world.’
    • ‘The practice involves commissioning studio portraits of prospective brides for presentation to potential spouses.’
    • ‘‘Several chose their spouses, two chose students, and one chose an ex-student,’ said Pearson.’
    • ‘This said, of course, while the two spouses are looking in opposite directions in the dark.’
    • ‘The employed spouse is allowed to make an IRA contribution on behalf of a non-working spouse or a spouse who has little income.’
    • ‘Rather it is their spouses and children who suffer terribly if not unbearably.’
    • ‘Explaining our extended family relationship to the children and our spouses was the source of great amusement.’
    husband, wife, partner, mate, consort
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Middle English: from Old French spous(e), variant of espous(e), from Latin sponsus (masculine), sponsa (feminine), past participles of spondere ‘betroth’.