marry 1 [mar-ee] WORD ORIGIN verb (used with object), mar·ried, mar·ry·ing. to take in marriage: After dating for five years, I finally asked her to marry me. to perform the marriage ceremonies for (two people); join in wedlock: The minister married Susan and Ed. to give in marriage; arrange the marriage of (often followed by off): Her father wants to marry her to his friend’s son. They want to marry off all their children before selling their big home. to unite intimately: Common economic interests marry the two countries. to take as an intimate life partner by a formal exchange of promises in the manner of a traditional marriage ceremony. to combine, connect, or join so as to make more efficient, attractive, or profitable: The latest cameras marry automatic and manual features. A recent merger marries two of the nation’s largest corporations. Nautical.
- to lay together (the unlaid strands of two ropes) to be spliced.
- to seize (two ropes) together end to end for use as a single line.
- to seize (parallel ropes) together at intervals.
to cause (food, liquor, etc.) to blend with other ingredients: to marry malt whiskey with grain whiskey. SEE MORESEE LESS verb (used without object), mar·ried, mar·ry·ing. to wed. (of two or more foods, wines, etc.) to combine suitably or agreeably; blend: This wine and the strong cheese just don’t marry.
Origin of marry 1 1250–1300; Middle English marien Old French marier Latin marītāre to wed, derivative of marītus conjugal, akin to mās male (person)Related formsmar·ri·er, nounnon·mar·ry·ing, adjectiveun·mar·ry·ing, adjectiveCan be confusedmarryDictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 British Dictionary definitions for marry off marry off verb (tr, adverb) to find a husband or wife for (a person, esp one’s son or daughter) marry 1 verb -ries, -rying or -ried to take (someone as one’s partner) in marriage (tr) to join or give in marriage (tr) to acquire (something) by marriagemarry money to unite closely or intimately (tr sometimes foll by up) to fit together or align (two things); join (tr) nautical
- to match up (the strands) of unlaid ropes before splicing
- to seize (two ropes) together at intervals along their lengths
See alsoDerived Formsmarrier, nounWord Origin for marry C13: from Old French marier, from Latin marītāre, from marītus married (man), perhaps from mās male marry 2 interjection archaic an exclamation of surprise, anger, etc Word Origin for marry C14: euphemistic for the Virgin Mary 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 Word Origin and History for marry off marry v.
c.1300, “to give (offspring) in marriage,” from Old French marier “to get married; to marry off, give in marriage; to bring together in marriage,” from Latin maritare “to wed, marry, give in marriage” (source of Italian maritare, Spanish and Portuguese maridar), from maritus (n.) “married man, husband,” of uncertain origin, originally a past participle, perhaps ultimately from “provided with a *mari,” a young woman, from PIE root *mari- “young wife, young woman,” akin to *meryo- “young man” (cf. Sanskrit marya- “young man, suitor”).
Meaning “to get married, join (with someone) in matrimony” is early 14c. in English, as is that of “to take in marriage.” Said from 1520s of the priest, etc., who performs the rite. Figurative use from early 15c. Related:; marrying. Phrase the marrying kind, describing one inclined toward marriage and almost always used with a negative, is attested by 1824, probably short for marrying kind of men, which is from a popular 1756 essay by Chesterfield.
In some Indo-European languages there were distinct “marry” verbs for men and women, though some of these have become generalized. Cf. Latin ducere uxorem (of men), literally “to lead a wife;” nubere (of women), perhaps originally “to veil” [Buck]. Also cf. Old Norse kvangask (of men) from kvan “wife” (cf.), so “take a wife;” giptask (of women), from gipta, a specialized use of “to give” (cf. (n.)) so “to be given.”
a common oath in the Middle Ages, mid-14c., now obsolete, a corruption of the name of the Virgin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper