View synonyms for spouse


[ noun spous, spouz; verb spouz, spous ]


  1. either member of a married pair in relation to the other; one's husband or wife.

verb (used with object)

, spoused, spous·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to join, give, or take in marriage.



  1. a person's partner in marriage spousal


  1. obsolete.
    tr to marry

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Other Words From

  • spousehood noun
  • spouseless adjective
  • un·spoused adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of spouse1

First recorded in 1150–1200; (for the noun) Middle English, from Old French spous (masculine), spouse (feminine), shortened from espous, espouse, from Latin spōnsus, spōnsa, literally, “pledged (man, woman),” noun uses of past participle of spondēre “to pledge”; (for the verb) Middle English spousen, from Old French esp(o)user; espouse

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Word History and Origins

Origin of spouse1

C12: from Old French spus (masculine), spuse (feminine), from Latin sponsus, sponsa betrothed man or woman, from spondēre to promise solemnly

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Example Sentences

Now, multiply that and say their spouse or significant other.

I’m seeing—and giving—glimpses of spouses, kids, pets—or the lack thereof.

From Fortune

Now, their supervisors are virtually in their living rooms, meeting spouses, babies and pets.

From Digiday

The event is primarily for transmasculine and nonbinary folks, but friends, spouses and allies of any gender are also welcome.

A massive transfer of wealth is under way as male baby boomers die, leaving assets to spouses, and as more women become breadwinners.

From Quartz

Who else would see a former spouse accused of underage sex and call him ‘the greatest man there is’?

Otherwise, he decides whether or not to perform a wedding based on how comfortable he feels with the spouse on the outside.

I point out to both of them that Wahlberg seems the very model of a supportive spouse.

I have to say that as a military spouse, I am excited to meet Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.

Well, that is very beneficial to the spouse who has a new job in LA, but detrimental to the one who left a job in New York.

In the humour her spouse was then in she had better have remained silent—she told him, that he was harsh and unjust.

Why,” said his spouse, after considering a moment, “he said you had been letting him into the mysteries of the cellar.

Look: Nature burns around us and rolls in the arms of Summer, and drinks in the devouring breath of her ruddy spouse.

The duties which one spouse legally owes to the other are fairly well known.

Have my young mistress and her august spouse already taken leave?


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More About Spouse

What does spouse mean?

Someone’s spouse is the person who they’re 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.

An adjective form of spouse is spousal, meaning relating to or involving marriage, as in Does this insurance plan provide spousal coverage?

Example: If you and your spouse file your taxes jointly, you may be eligible for certain rebates.

Where does spouse come from?

The first records of the word spouse come from the 1100s. It 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.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to spouse?

  • spousal (adjective)
  • spousehood (noun)

What are some synonyms for spouse?

What are some words that often get used in discussing spouse?

How is spouse used in real life?

Spouse is perhaps most commonly used in formal or official contexts as a way of referring to a marriage partner in a gender-neutral way.


Try using spouse!

Is spouse used correctly in the following sentence?

The event is open to employees and their spouses.

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