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90s Slang You Should Know


[noun spous, spouz; verb spouz, spous] /noun spaʊs, spaʊz; verb spaʊz, spaʊs/
either member of a married pair in relation to the other; one's husband or wife.
verb (used with object), spoused, spousing.
Obsolete. to join, give, or take in marriage.
Origin of spouse
1150-1200; (noun) Middle English < Old French spous (masculine), spouse (feminine) (aphetic for espous, espouse) < Latin spōnsus, spōnsa literally, pledged (man, woman) (noun uses of past participle of spondēre to pledge), equivalent to spond- verb stem + -tus, -ta past participle suffix; (v.) Middle English spousen < Old French esp(o)user; cf. espouse
Related forms
spousehood, noun
spouseless, adjective
unspoused, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spouse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Madame Flicker is so like her spouse that you would be puzzled to tell them apart, but for his black mustache.

  • A daughter, according to their philosophy, had no right to have an opinion of her own as to her spouse.

    The God of Love Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He heard Jack entering below, swearing at the storm, fastening the door, and finally joining his spouse in the sleeping-chamber.

    Captain Ravenshaw Robert Neilson Stephens
  • “And you should have seen Paw come down off from there,” commented his spouse.

    Maw's Vacation Emerson Hough
  • Intentional omission of one spouse to warn the other of an attempt by a third person on the life of the other spouse.

British Dictionary definitions for spouse


noun (spaʊs; spaʊz)
a person's partner in marriage related adjective spousal
verb (spaʊz; spaʊs)
(transitive) (obsolete) to marry
Word Origin
C12: from Old French spus (masculine), spuse (feminine), from Latin sponsus, sponsa betrothed man or woman, from spondēre to promise solemnly
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 spouse

c.1200, "a married woman in relation to her husband" (also of men), from Old French spus (fem. spuse), from Latin sponsus "bridegroom" (fem. sponsa "bride"), from masc. and fem. past participle of spondere "to bind oneself, promise solemnly," from PIE *spend- "to make an offering, perform a rite" (see spondee). Spouse-breach (early 13c.) was an old name for "adultery."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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