• synonyms


[ih-spou-zuh l, -suh l]
See more synonyms for espousal on Thesaurus.com
  1. adoption or advocacy, as of a cause or principle.
  2. Sometimes espousals.
    1. a marriage ceremony.
    2. an engagement or betrothal celebration.
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Origin of espousal

1275–1325; Middle English espousaille < Middle French, Old French espousailles < Latin spōnsālia (noun use of neuter plural of spōnsālis), equivalent to spōns(us) spouse + -ālia -al2
Related formsnon·es·pous·al, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for espousal

Historical Examples

  • Mr. Ferbrass congratulated him on the heartiness of his espousal of the Tory cause.

    Beauchamp's Career, Complete

    George Meredith

  • There is a note of considerate caution in his espousal of new ideas.

  • The espousal of greenbackism in 1867 only reenforced that resolution.

  • The espousal of Abolitionism by Mr. Chase was a remarkable circumstance.

    The Abolitionists

    John F. Hume

  • Have I understood you that you are veritably wedded, not by a mere contract of espousal?'

    The Chaplet of Pearls

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for espousal


  1. adoption or supportan espousal of new beliefs
  2. (sometimes plural) archaic a marriage or betrothal ceremony
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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 espousal


late 14c., from Old French esposailles (plural) "act of betrothal" (12c., Modern French époussailles), from Latin sponsalia "betrothal, espousal," noun use of neuter plural of sponsalis "of a betrothal," from sponsa "spouse." For the -e- see especial.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper