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[nuhp-shuh l, -chuh l] /ˈnʌp ʃəl, -tʃəl/
of or relating to marriage or the marriage ceremony:
the nuptial day; nuptial vows.
of, relating to, or characteristic of mating or the mating season of animals:
nuptial behavior.
Usually, nuptials. a wedding or marriage.
Origin of nuptial
1480-90; (Middle French) < Latin nuptiālis, equivalent to nupti(ae) marriage, wedding, derivative of nubēre to marry (of a woman); cf. nubile
Related forms
nuptially, adverb
quasi-nuptial, adjective
Synonym Study
3. See marriage.
Pronunciation note
The pronunciations
[nuhp-choo-uh l] /ˈnʌp tʃu əl/ (Show IPA)
[nuhp-shoo-uh l] /ˈnʌp ʃu əl/
by analogy with such words as mutual and actual, are not considered standard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nuptial
Historical Examples
  • Other nuptial carriages are said to have gone the same road, before and since.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • The choice of the bride and the nuptial ceremonies are most rudimentary.

  • Extravagance is to be regarded as vulgarity and ignorance of nuptial proprieties.

    Laws Plato
  • And Gervasio came down to pronounce the nuptial blessing over us.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • Benedick, in astonishment at what he heard, said, "This looks not like a nuptial."

    Tales from Shakespeare Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb
  • By his nuptial contract he was bound to take his bride with him to Pesaro.

    Lucretia Borgia Ferdinand Gregorovius
  • They had been married by Father Farmer with a nuptial high mass.

    The Loyalist James Francis Barrett
  • The transfer was soon completed, and the burden deposited on the nuptial bed.

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • That is some satire keen and critical, Not sorting with a nuptial ceremony.

  • There is not a woman in all the world but would prefer death to such a nuptial.

    The Short-story William Patterson Atkinson
British Dictionary definitions for nuptial


/ˈnʌpʃəl; -tʃəl/
relating to marriage; conjugal: nuptial vows
(zoology) of or relating to mating: the nuptial flight of a queen bee
Derived Forms
nuptially, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin nuptiālis, from nuptiae marriage, from nubere 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 nuptial

late 15c., from Middle French nuptial, or directly from Latin nuptialis "pertaining to marriage," from nuptiae "wedding," from nupta, fem. past participle of nubere "to marry, wed, take as a husband," related to Greek nymphe "bride," from PIE *sneubh- "to marry, wed" (cf. Old Church Slavonic snubiti "to love, woo," Czech snoubiti "to seek in marriage," Slovak zasnubit "to betroth"). Related: Nuptially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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