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fiancé

or fi·an·ce

[ fee-ahn-sey, fee-ahn-sey ]
/ ˌfi ɑnˈseɪ, fiˈɑn seɪ /
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noun
a man engaged to be married.
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Origin of fiancé

First recorded in 1850–55; from French: “betrothed,” past participle of fiancer, Old French fiancier, verbal derivative of fiance “a promise,” equivalent to fi(er) “to trust” (from unattested Vulgar Latin fīdāre, Latin fīdere ) + -ance noun suffix; see -ance, -ee

usage note for fiancé

See fiancée.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH fiancé

fiancé , fiancée, faience

Words nearby fiancé

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

FIANCÉ VS. FIANCÉE

What’s the difference between fiancé and fiancée?

The word fiancé is traditionally used to refer to the man that a person is engaged to be married to (the groom-to-be). Fiancée is traditionally used to refer to the woman that a person is engaged to be married to (the bride-to-be).

However, the spelling fiancé—with just one e—is sometimes used without reference to gender.

The two words are pronounced exactly the same. Their different endings are due to the fact that they derive from French, which has grammatical gender, meaning that some words end differently depending on whether they are applied to men or women (with e being the feminine ending). This happens in a few other pairs of words in English, like blond and blonde, though in many cases the term without the e has become largely gender-neutral. This is the case with both blond and fiancé.

Similar to some other words derived from French (like résumé), they are sometimes written without accents, as fiance and fiancee.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between fiancé and fiancée.

Quiz yourself on fiancée vs. fiancé!

True or False? 

The spelling fiancé can be used for any gender.

How to use fiancé in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fiancé

fiancé
/ (fɪˈɒnseɪ) /

noun
a man who is engaged to be married

Word Origin for fiancé

C19: from French, from Old French fiancier to promise, betroth, from fiance a vow, from fier to trust, from Latin fīdere
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
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