- 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.See also traditional marriage (def. 2).
- this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage; gay marriage.
OTHER WORDS FOR marriage
Origin of marriage
synonym study for marriage
historical usage of marriage
Multiple wives, for example, proliferate in the Bible. King Solomon famously had 700, although most were apparently instruments of political alliance rather than participants in royal romance. (For that, he had 300 concubines.)
Marriage can be sanctioned legally or religiously, and typically confers upon married people a special legal status with particular rights, benefits, and obligations. Access to this special status has changed over time. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage as recently as 1967, while same-sex marriage, which for some time had been banned in many states or ignored in others, was in 2015 ruled a constitutional right for all Americans.
Marriage as the union of one man and one woman is the most common definition of the term in the Western world today—this in spite of the prevalence on the one hand of divorce (enabling people to marry several different partners in sequence), and on the other, of an increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage. And as society becomes more inclusive, it is likely that “equal protection under the law” will be fully applied to same-sex couples.
In crafting definitions for a word that represents an institution that is rapidly evolving, the dictionary may well have to keep adding, changing, and reordering senses, splitting or combining them as the institution changes. Inevitably, those who want to preserve what they cherish as traditional values will resist new definitions, while those who anticipate, welcome, and fight for societal change will be impatient when new definitions do not appear as quickly as they would wish. But we should all remember that while it is not the job of a dictionary to drive social change, it is inevitable that it will reflect such change.
OTHER WORDS FROM marriage
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH marriagemarriage , wedding (see synonym study at the current entry)
Quotations related to marriage
- "[A] number of courts have concluded that laws denying the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples violate the principles of equality established in their state constitutions. "-Jeffrey M. Shaman Equality and Liberty in the Golden Age of State Constitutional Law (2008)
- "Is there any word currently more contested in our culture than marriage?…When definitions are at stake, as in the marriage debates, the dictionary can become a political football.…But are dictionaries really ‘our sources for what words mean’? That imparts a social power to lexicographers that they themselves would likely disavow: To them, dictionaries merely reflect common usage. "-Ben Zimmer The fight over defining marriage, literally: Can you change the world by changing the dictionary? The Boston Globe (June 10, 2012)
- "Do you think marriages between gay and lesbian couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages? "-posted by CNN Political Unit CNN Poll: Americans' attitudes toward gay community changing politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com (May 29-31, 2012)
- "There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. "-Martin Luther (1566) quoted in Random House Webster's Quotationary (1999)
- "The ideal that marriage aims at is that of spiritual union through the physical. The human love that it incarnates is intended to serve as a stepping stone to divine or universal love. "-Mohandas K. Gandhi (1931) quoted in Random House Webster's Quotationary (1999)
- "I, [name], take you, [name], for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. "The Catholic Rite of Marriage
- "Let me not to the marriage of true minds / Admit impediments. Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove. "-William Shakespeare Sonnet 116 (first published in 1609)
- "[Nobel laureate Wislawa] Szymborska’s poems are intimate, while [Jenny] Holzer’s light show is grandly public. The unlikely marriage of opposites gives the poems a terrific urgency and fills the big hall with infectious mental energy. "-Ken Johnson Jenny Holzer Makes Light of Poems and Beats Swords Into Paintings The New York Times (December 26, 2007)
How to use marriage in a sentence
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.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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.
I waited three months more, in great impatience, then sent him back to the same post, to see if there might be a reply.The Boarded-Up House|Augusta Huiell Seaman
If Mac had been alone he would have made the post by sundown, for the Mounted Police rode picked horses, the best money could buy.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
Do you want the marriage of your daughter with the rich and Honourable Harry broken?The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol|William J. Locke
The Café tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the sentinel alone kept awake on his post.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
After her marriage to Eugène Manet she came under the influence of his famous brother, Édouard.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement
British Dictionary definitions for marriage
- the legal union or contract made by two people to live together
- (as modifier)marriage licence; marriage certificate