shotgun wedding

or shotgun marriage


noun

a wedding occasioned or precipitated by pregnancy.
Informal. a compromise, merger, accord, etc., occasioned by necessity: The coalition government was obviously a shotgun wedding.

Nearby words

  1. shot-putter,
  2. shot-silk retina,
  3. shote,
  4. shotgun,
  5. shotgun microphone,
  6. shothole,
  7. shott,
  8. shotten,
  9. shotting,
  10. shottsuru

Origin of shotgun wedding

An Americanism dating back to 1925–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for shotgun marriage

shotgun wedding

noun

informal a wedding into which one or both partners are coerced, usually because the woman is pregnant
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

Idioms and Phrases with shotgun marriage

Shotgun wedding

An agreement or compromise made through necessity, as in Since neither side won a majority, the coalition government was obviously a shotgun wedding. This expression alludes to a marriage precipitated by a woman's pregnancy, causing her father to point a literal or figurative gun at the responsible man's head. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.