Definition of wedlock in English:

wedlock

noun

mass noun
  • The state of being married.

    • ‘The happy couple were joined in wedlock by local priest Fr. Gerry Chestnutt.’
    • ‘They married in 2002, and their first year of wedlock was documented on a TV show.’
    • ‘For, wedlock these days is determined not by the heart but by one's ‘fortunes’.’
    • ‘He was head over heels in love with a German girl by the time he completed medicine and the mutual affection ended in wedlock.’
    • ‘But illicit cohabitations and love affairs out of wedlock increased significantly.’
    • ‘He's 22 next month and already they're shoving him up the aisle into wedlock.’
    • ‘As in much of Europe, many young couples in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation tend to live together out of wedlock.’
    • ‘People living in the northwest are in poor health, live out of wedlock and look after sick relatives, according to the latest census.’
    • ‘In a culture where relationships outside wedlock are frowned upon, many women are living lives of lonely misery, she said.’
    • ‘Living together out of wedlock is more popular among couples today than ever.’
    • ‘Holidays together ought to be obligatory for couples thinking of wedlock.’
    • ‘Terry Prendergast, chief executive of Marriage Care, which counsels couples on coping with the strains of wedlock, agrees.’
    • ‘He seems inclined to accept the steady, court-imposed march of gay wedlock.’
    • ‘This story makes reference to the age-old anxiety surrounding the idea of legitimacy and wedlock.’
    • ‘Opposition to sex out of wedlock as a concept just seems so outdated.’
    • ‘He claims he was forced to resign because he lives with his partner out of wedlock.’
    • ‘The couple were joined in wedlock by Fr, Gerry Chestnutt with the reception held afterwards in the Tower Hotel.’
    • ‘Their results provide strong indications that policymakers who are promoting wedlock are indeed serving the public well.’
    • ‘He told the court that wedlock now was not what it was traditionally.’
    • ‘Give and take is the key to a successful marriage, say a Malmesbury couple who have celebrated 50 years of wedlock.’
    marriage, matrimony, holy matrimony, married state, union, conjugal bond
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • born in (or out of) wedlock

    • Born of married (or unmarried) parents.

      ‘the story concerns a woman who conceives a child out of wedlock and is rejected by the baby's father’
      • ‘The ‘green paper’ also proposes that children be given equal rights whether or not they were born in wedlock.’’
      • ‘Only her first child was born out of wedlock.’
      • ‘Usually, if a child is born out of wedlock, the parents will marry to take care of the child.’
      • ‘And one in three children these days is born out of wedlock.’
      • ‘Yes, I didn't want anyone to know I was born out of wedlock, and I didn't want to let anyone know that I was adopted.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, there has been a sharp increase in children who are not only born out of wedlock but are raised without a father.’
      • ‘Church law legitimised children born out of wedlock whose parents subsequently married.’
      • ‘He's a lot older than us because he was born out of wedlock, while my parents were still in high school.’
      • ‘More than half of all first children are born out of wedlock.’
      • ‘For example, there was the case of one child born out of wedlock, whose parents had subsequently married.’

Origin

Late Old English wedlāc ‘marriage vow’, from wed ‘pledge’ (related to wed) + the suffix -lāc (denoting action).

Pronunciation

wedlock

/ˈwɛdlɒk/