[ kon-juh-guhl ]
/ ˈkɒn dʒə gəl /
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See synonyms for: conjugal / conjugality on Thesaurus.com

of, relating to, or characteristic of marriage: conjugal vows.
pertaining to the relation between marriage partners.
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Origin of conjugal

1535–45; <Latin conjugālis, equivalent to con-con- + jug(um) yoke1 + -ālis-al1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does conjugal mean?

Conjugal means relating to marriage, but it is perhaps best known for its use in conjugal visit, in a which prisoner is allowed to visit privately with their spouse for the purpose of having sexual relations.

Otherwise, conjugal is often used in legal or religious contexts in discussions about particular aspects of marriage.

Example: Gary and Sam got married in 1990 and have been living in conjugal bliss ever since.

Where does conjugal come from?

The first records of conjugal come from the 1500s. It comes from the Latin conjugālis, from conjunx, meaning “wife” or “husband.” Conjunx comes from the Latin verb conjungere, meaning “to unite.”

Conjugal is generally used to describe any situation related to married people. For example, it is used in the phrase conjugal family, meaning “a family composed of married parents and their children” (the term is synonymous with nuclear family). It is used in some phrases in much the same way as the word marital would be, such as conjugal bliss and conjugal vows.

The conjugal in conjugal visit still refers to marriage—conjugal visits are typically reserved for married partners. However, due to the meaning of the term, conjugal has become associated with sex, such as in phrases like conjugal relations.

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What are some other forms related to conjugal?

  • nonconjugal (adjective)
  • conjugality (noun)
  • conjugally (adverb)

What are some synonyms for conjugal?

What are some words that share a root or word element with conjugal


What are some words that often get used in discussing conjugal?


How is conjugal used in real life?

The formality of conjugal means it’s rarely used in casual contexts. An exception is conjugal visit, which is used literally to refer to prison visits as well as in other ways (especially attempts to be humorous) to refer to a sexual encounter in which one person visits another for the specific purpose of sex.



How to use conjugal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for conjugal

/ (ˈkɒndʒʊɡəl) /

of or relating to marriage or the relationship between husband and wifeconjugal rights

Derived forms of conjugal

conjugality (ˌkɒndʒʊˈɡælɪtɪ), nounconjugally, adverb

Word Origin for conjugal

C16: from Latin conjugālis, from conjunx wife or husband, from conjungere to unite; see conjoin
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

Cultural definitions for conjugal

[ (kon-juh-guhl) ]

A descriptive term for the relationship between married persons. A conjugal family is the same as a nuclear family, composed of married parents and their children. Conjugal relatives (in-laws) trace their relations through the marriage of their respective blood relatives.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.