[mey-zuh-lahy-uh ns, mey-zal-ee-uh ns; French mey-zal-yahns]

noun, plural mé·sal·li·anc·es [mey-zuh-lahy-uh n-siz, mey-zal-ee-uh n-siz; French mey-zal-yahns] /ˌmeɪ zəˈlaɪ ən sɪz, meɪˈzæl i ən sɪz; French meɪ zalˈyɑ̃s/.

a marriage with someone who is considered socially inferior; misalliance.

Origin of mésalliance

From French, dating back to 1775–85; see origin at mis-1, alliance
Can be confusedmésalliance misalliance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mesalliance

Historical Examples of mesalliance

  • As it appears, he has made a mesalliance that he did not care to acknowledge.

  • An ancestress of ours made a mesalliance in the reign of your King John.


    William Makepeace Thackeray

  • After that mesalliance her father never would see her again.

    The Parisians, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Mrs. Pomfret did not wish to see Victoria make a mesalliance.

  • You were deeply grieved over the mesalliance of Miss Lamotte?

    The Diamond Coterie

    Lawrence L. Lynch

British Dictionary definitions for mesalliance



marriage with a person of lower social status

Word Origin for mésalliance

C18: from French: misalliance
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 mesalliance

"marriage with a person of lower social position," 1782, from French mésalliance, from pejorative prefix mes- (from Latin mis-; see mis-) + alliance (see alliance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper