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[ih-spouz, ih-spous] /ɪˈspaʊz, ɪˈspaʊs/
verb (used with object), espoused, espousing.
to make one's own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.
to marry.
to give (a woman) in marriage.
Origin of espouse
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French espouser < Latin spōnsāre to betroth, espouse
Related forms
espouser, noun
unespoused, adjective
1. support, champion, advocate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for espoused
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My brother, my cousins, my father, are all fighting the men of the nation whose cause you have espoused!

    The Zeppelin's Passenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • He took no sides, pronounced no judgment, espoused no cause.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • Quoth he, 'And I will have thee to my wife'; and espoused her in the presence of all.

  • He was an optimist—or he never would have espoused the American cause.

  • May you all be espoused to husbands who will execute all your whims and fancies with equal rapidity and good taste!

    Before and after Waterloo Edward Stanley
British Dictionary definitions for espoused


verb (transitive)
to adopt or give support to (a cause, ideal, etc): to espouse socialism
(archaic) (esp of a man) to take as spouse; marry
Derived Forms
espouser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French espouser, from Latin spōnsāre to affiance, espouse
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 espoused



mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere (see espousal).

Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see especial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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espoused in the Bible

(2 Sam. 3:14), to betroth. The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage. Espousals are in the East frequently contracted years before the marriage is celebrated. It is referred to as figuratively illustrating the relations between God and his people (Jer. 2:2; Matt. 1:18; 2 Cor. 11:2). (See BETROTH.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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