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[bih-trohth, -trawth]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to arrange for the marriage of; affiance (usually used in passive constructions): The couple was betrothed with the approval of both families.
  2. Archaic. to promise to marry.
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Origin of betroth

1275–1325; Middle English betrouthe, variant of betreuthe (be- be- + treuthe truth; see troth)


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for betroth

Historical Examples

  • I betroth thee unto me according to the Law of Moses and Israel.

    Dreamers of the Ghetto

    I. Zangwill

  • I went there not to meet death, but to betroth myself to it.


    George Sand

  • I will betroth her to your nephew, my beloved Montagu's son.

  • I only say, For six months to come, betroth yourself to no other man.

  • It was the custom to betroth before marriage, as it is at this day.

    Finger-Ring Lore

    William Jones

British Dictionary definitions for betroth


  1. (tr) archaic to promise to marry or to give in marriage
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Word Origin

C14 betreuthen, from be- + treuthe troth, truth
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

Word Origin and History for betroth


c.1300, betrouthen, from bi-, here probably with a sense of "thoroughly," + Middle English treowðe "truth," from Old English treowðe "truth, a pledge" (see troth). Related: Betrothed; betrothing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper