[ih-spouz, ih-spous]

verb (used with object), es·poused, es·pous·ing.

to make one's own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.
to marry.
to give (a woman) in marriage.

Origin of espouse

1425–75; late Middle English < Middle French espouser < Latin spōnsāre to betroth, espouse
Related formses·pous·er, nounun·es·poused, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for espouse

Contemporary Examples of espouse

Historical Examples of espouse

  • Among the first to espouse the abolition doctrines was Judge Tilden.

  • I wish the one you espouse at present, much joy of the acquisition it has made.'

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • Me, Morgan la fée, espouse one of these roistering, cursing foreigners?

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • He had said that he had changed his mind and should not continue to espouse the Thomas cause.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • His clan were, however, anxious to espouse the cause of Charles Edward.

British Dictionary definitions for espouse


verb (tr)

to adopt or give support to (a cause, ideal, etc)to espouse socialism
archaic (esp of a man) to take as spouse; marry
Derived Formsespouser, noun

Word Origin for espouse

C15: from Old French espouser, from Latin spōnsāre to affiance, espouse
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 espouse

mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere (see espousal).

Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see especial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper