[ih-spou-zuh l, -suh l]


adoption or advocacy, as of a cause or principle.
Sometimes espousals.
  1. a marriage ceremony.
  2. an engagement or betrothal celebration.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for espousal

Historical Examples of espousal

British Dictionary definitions for espousal



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper