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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nuptials
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The nuptials of Roxana, and the suppliant family of Darius, are the best of them.

  • The plan was arranged, and the nuptials were soon to be celebrated.

  • She was soon summoned to Munich to attend their nuptials, and there again was united to those she so dearly loved.

    Josephine John S. C. Abbott
  • If it were so, all Nuremberg should ring with the tragedy of their nuptials.

    Linda Tressel Anthony Trollope
  • He had invited all the officials to attend the nuptials by the Golden Gate.

    The Little Lady of Lagunitas Richard Henry Savage
British Dictionary definitions for nuptials


/ˈnʌpʃəlz; -tʃəlz/
plural noun
(sometimes sing) a marriage ceremony; wedding


/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 nuptials

"marriage, wedding," 1550s, plural of 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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