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[ih-spouz, ih-spous]
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verb (used with object), es·poused, es·pous·ing.
  1. to make one's own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.
  2. to marry.
  3. to give (a woman) in marriage.
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Origin of espouse

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


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

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British Dictionary definitions for espoused


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

Word Origin

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 espoused



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper