Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

in-law

[in-law]
See more synonyms for in-law on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a relative by marriage.
Show More

Origin of in-law

1890–95; back formation from mother-in-law, brother-in-law, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

father, sibling, mother, cousin, folk, uncle, niece, aunt, clan, tribe, group, people, house, household, agnate, cognate, connection, blood, folks, relation

Examples from the Web for in-law

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for in-law

in-law

noun
  1. a relative by marriage
Show More
adjective
  1. (postpositive; in combination) related by marriagea father-in-law
Show More

Word Origin

C19: back formation from father-in-law, etc
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 in-law

n.

1894, "anyone of a relationship not natural," abstracted from father-in-law, etc.

The position of the 'in-laws' (a happy phrase which is attributed ... to her Majesty, than whom no one can be better acquainted with the article) is often not very apt to promote happiness. ["Blackwood's Magazine," 1894]

The earliest recorded use of the phrase is in brother-in-law (13c.); the law is Canon Law, which defines degrees of relationship within which marriage is prohibited.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper