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or betrothment

[bih-troh-th uh l, -traw-thuh l] /bɪˈtroʊ ðəl, -ˈtrɔ θəl/
the act or state of being betrothed; engagement.
Origin of betrothal
First recorded in 1835-45; betroth + -al2
Related forms
prebetrothal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for betrothment
Historical Examples
  • She was eighteen and adorable, but her mother would not hear to a betrothment.

    Floyd Grandon's Honor

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • And when he gave her the kiss of betrothment her lips grew white.

    Septimius Felton Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • You shall marry Aurelia, and in a few days we shall solemnize the betrothment.

    The Devil's Elixir E. T. A. Hoffmann
  • Tant Sannie was well satisfied when told of the betrothment.

    The Story of an African Farm (AKA Ralph Iron) Olive Schreiner
  • Her beauty, her wit, they were her own; but they had availed her little before her betrothment to Rube.

  • The real lover returning, enters at this moment, and produces the ring which she had once given him in sign of her betrothment.

  • Sent perhaps on the occasion of the betrothment of William's daughter to the king of Gallicia, which has been before mentioned.

  • Last Thursday Countess L. opened the season with an unusual event—a betrothment ball.

    The Cross of Berny Emile de Girardin
British Dictionary definitions for betrothment


engagement to be married
a mutual promise to marry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for betrothment



1844, from betroth + -al (2). Earlier in same sense were betrothment (1580s), betrothing (14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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