View synonyms for marriage


[ mar-ij ]


  1. (broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage: the current entry.

    Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.

    1. Also called opposite-sex marriage. the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. traditional marriage ( def 2 ).
    2. this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage gay marriage
  2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock:

    They have a happy marriage.

    Synonyms: matrimony

    Antonyms: spinsterhood, singleness, bachelorhood

  3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities:

    to officiate at a marriage.

    Synonyms: wedding

    Antonyms: annulment, divorce

  4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction:

    trial marriage.

  5. any close or intimate association or union:

    the marriage of words and music in a hit song.

    Synonyms: confederation, alliance, oneness, unity, merger, blend

    Antonyms: schism, disunion, division, separation

  6. a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
  7. a blending or matching of different elements or components:

    The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.

  8. Cards. a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Compare royal marriage.
  9. a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.
  10. Obsolete. the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.


/ ˈmærɪdʒ /


  1. the state or relationship of living together in a legal partnership
    1. the legal union or contract made by two people to live together
    2. ( as modifier )

      marriage certificate

      marriage licence

  2. the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
  3. a close or intimate union, relationship, etc

    a marriage of ideas

  4. (in certain card games, such as bezique, pinochle) the king and queen of the same suit

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Other Words From

  • non·marriage noun
  • post·marriage noun adjective
  • pre·marriage noun
  • pro·marriage adjective
  • re·marriage noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of marriage1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English mariage, from Old French, equivalent to mari(er) “to wed” + -age noun suffix; marry 1none, -age none

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Word History and Origins

Origin of marriage1

C13: from Old French; see marry 1, -age

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Synonym Study

Marriage, wedding, nuptials are terms for the ceremony uniting couples in wedlock. Marriage is the simple and usual term, without implications as to circumstances and without emotional connotations: to announce the marriage of a daughter. Wedding has rather strong emotional, even sentimental, connotations, and suggests the accompanying festivities, whether elaborate or simple: a beautiful wedding; a reception after the wedding. Nuptials is a formal and lofty word applied to the ceremony and attendant social events; it does not have emotional connotations but strongly implies surroundings characteristic of wealth, rank, pomp, and grandeur: royal nuptials. It appears frequently on newspaper society pages chiefly as a result of the attempt to avoid continual repetition of marriage and wedding.

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Example Sentences

The problem turned around when we started going to a marriage counselor.

That and other disorders are carried by a high proportion of people in parts of the world where marriage between cousins is common.

We hope you enjoy using this espresso machine leading up to your big day and throughout your marriage.

From Fortune

But, generally, education is associated with later marriage.

The Supreme Court has described marriage as a fundamental right 14 times since 1888.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Bush was flooded with questions about whether gay marriage could possibly come to the Sunshine State.

So, Islamized teaching sends girls back home for marriage and housework, and remains exclusively for boys.

To those who agreed with him, Bush pledged that the law against same-sex marriage would remain intact.

Bush busy engaging constituents on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate ahead of the 2004 presidential election.

Gay marriage was the hot-button fight on the left and right.

Do you want the marriage of your daughter with the rich and Honourable Harry broken?

After her marriage to Eugène Manet she came under the influence of his famous brother, Édouard.

It had come into the family through the marriage of a former earl with the heiress of the great Chudleigh family.

Seven o'clock was the hour fixed for the marriage: it would be twilight then, and dinner over.

The mode of procession was a little out of the common order of such affairs; but so was the marriage.


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