- (broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage: Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.See Word Story at the current entry.
- 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.
- the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: They have a happy marriage.
- the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
- a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.
- any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
- a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
- a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.
- Cards. a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle.Compare royal marriage.
- a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.
- Obsolete. the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.
- the state or relationship of living together in a legal partnership
- the legal union or contract made by two people to live together
- (as modifier)marriage licence; marriage certificate
- the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
- a close or intimate union, relationship, etca marriage of ideas
- (in certain card games, such as bezique, pinochle) the king and queen of the same suit
n.c.1300, “action of marrying, entry into wedlock;” also “state or condition of being husband and wife, matrimony, wedlock;” from Old French mariage “marriage; dowry” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *maritaticum (11c.), from Latin maritatus, past participle of maritatre “to wed, marry, give in marriage” (see marry (v.)). The Vulgar Latin word also is the source of Italian maritaggio, Spanish maridaje. Meaning “a union of a man and woman for life by marriage, a particular matrimonial union” is early 14c. Meanings “the marriage vow, formal declaration or contract by which two join in wedlock;” also “a wedding, celebration of a marriage; the marriage ceremony” are from late 14c. Figurative use (non-theological) “intimate union, a joining as if by marriage” is from early 15c. [W]hen two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition until death do them part. [G.B. Shaw, preface to “Getting Married,” 1908] Marriage counseling recorded by 1939. Marriage bed, figurative of marital intercourse generally, is attested from 1580s (bed of marriage is from early 15c.).