Origin of spousal
OTHER WORDS FROM spousalspous·al·ly, adverbin·ter·spous·al, adjectivein·ter·spous·al·ly, adverb
Words nearby spousal
What does spousal mean?
Spousal is an adjective form of spouse—the person who someone is married to (their partner in marriage).
A spouse who’s a man is often called a husband, while a spouse who’s a woman is often called a wife. The word partner is a gender-neutral way to refer to one’s spouse. People most commonly use one of these terms when talking about or introducing their spouse, as opposed to using the word spouse. The word spouse is more commonly used in formal or official contexts, such as on forms that require family relations to be specified.
Spousal is used in terms referring to such relationships or situations involving them, such as spousal benefits and spousal counseling.
Sadly, one of the most common uses of spousal is in the term spousal abuse, which specifically refers to abuse of the person that one is married to. (The broader term domestic abuse typically refers to abuse of someone within one’s household.)
Much less commonly, spousal can be used as a noun, especially in the plural form spousals, meaning a marriage ceremony. The word nuptials means the same thing but is much more common.
Example: Does this insurance plan provide spousal coverage?
Where does spousal come from?
The first records of the word spousal come from the 1200s. It ultimately comes from the Latin terms spōnsus and spōnsa, meaning “betrothed man” and “betrothed woman.” These terms derive from the Latin verb spondēre, “to pledge.”
A spouse is the person who has pledged to wed another person and be united in marriage with that person, usually in some official way. This union is formally called wedlock. Fittingly, wed, wedlock, and wedding are all based on a word that means “pledge.” Like spouse, spousal is most often used in formal or official ways.
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How is spousal used in real life?
Spousal is typically used in formal or official contexts. Unfortunately, one of its most common uses is in the phrase spousal abuse.
— RAINN (@RAINN) February 17, 2016
You can still claim Social Security spousal benefits — even if your spouse is gone, writes @HowardRGold: https://t.co/dOlCTkLuMr (OPINION)
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) October 9, 2020
— Bloomberg (@business) December 21, 2018
Try using spousal!
Is spousal used correctly in the following sentence?
The spousal relationship should be based on trust and a willingness to sacrifice.
How to use spousal in a sentence
His sporadic, superficial attempts at contact also fit the profile of someone grasping for ways to contact you that don't trigger a spousal crackdown.Carolyn Hax: Is your father lax about staying in touch, or is his new wife in the way?|Carolyn Hax|June 25, 2021|Washington Post
I recently scored a 1990 Au Bon Climat chardonnay from him for less than $100, and it made for lovely spousal birthday drinking, made all the more special by the recent passing of Au Bon Climat’s visionary founder, Jim Clendenen.You Should Absolutely Age Your Own Wine. Here’s How to Do It|Jordan Michelman|May 20, 2021|Eater
Just imagine how making an assumption that an immigrant is on a date with an American citizen just to get a spousal immigration visa makes you look.
Frostee Rucker had a one-game suspension overturned by Goodell in 2007 despite two counts of spousal battery.
Dina Eastwood is seeking spousal support from the actor/director, as well as custody of their daughter.Eastwood’s Wife Files for Separation; Stewart Charges $500K for Appearance|Culture Team|September 11, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Spousal coverage: If you have access to health insurance through a spouse, are you more likely to own a business?Obamacare: Job Killer or Entrepreneurial Turbocharger?|Megan McArdle|June 5, 2013|DAILY BEAST
This is not only time consuming, but also, creates opportunities for spousal arguments.One Reason Women Stay Home: Because It's Easier on Everyone|Megan McArdle|March 18, 2013|DAILY BEAST
To the extent that he's thinking of the spousal angle, I think there's no doubt that Hillary is better off if Obama wins.
A remarkable exhibition of Aminta the woman was, her entire change of front since he had taken her spousal chill.Lord Ormont and his Aminta, Complete|George Meredith
Shall she see her spousal and her home, her parents and children, attended by a crowd of Trojan women and Phrygians to serve her?The Aeneid of Virgil|Virgil
The festal hall was decked for his reception, the spousal banquet spread, the goblet graced the board.
Dost thou deem the mock blessing of yon mad hermit a spousal rite?The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV.|Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
The spousal rings placed on their fingers were of gold, adorned with a sapphire, and were provided at the expense of the King.Finger-Ring Lore|William Jones
British Dictionary definitions for spousal
- the marriage ceremony
- a wedding