marriage


marriage
marriage, matrimony, wedlock, wedding, nuptial, espousal are comparable though not always synonymous because they all refer directly or indirectly to acts by which a man and woman become husband and. wife or to the state of being husband and wife.
Marriage is the common term; it may apply to the rite or ceremony
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many were present at their marriage

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a civil marriage

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but it more often applies to the legal or spiritual relation which is entered upon
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joined in marriage

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annul a marriage

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or to the state of being married
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theirs was a long and happy marriage

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or to the institution as an abstraction
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nor does he dishonor marriage that praises virginity— Donne

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In extended use the term is applicable to any similarly close and intimate union
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let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments— Shak.

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the same sort of poetic effect as the Romantics obtained by the marriage of fertile words—Day Lewis

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Matrimony is in most contexts interchangeable with marriage, but it is the more appropriate term in religious and sometimes in legal use; in many Christian churches it designates one of the seven sacraments
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matrimony is the sacrament which unites in holy wedlock a man and a woman, between whom there is no impediment that would render marriage null and void— Currier

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The term therefore may be chosen in place of marriage when a religious ceremony or sanction is implied
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joined in bonds of holy matrimony

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In general the term is more often applied to the relationship which exists between husband and wife than to the ceremony or the state of marriage
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so prays the Church, to consecrate a vow "The which would endless matrimony make"—Wordsworth

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Wedlock, chiefly legal or archaic, applies especially to marriage as a legally or ecclesiastically sanctioned relationship or state; thus, children born out of wedlock are children of parents who are not legally married
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grave authors say, and witty poets sing, that honest wedlock is a glorious thing— Pope

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Wedding is the common term for the ceremony that marks a marriage and the festivities that accompany it
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a thousand invitations to the wedding were sent out

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Nuptial, usually as the plural nuptials, is a more rhetorical term than wedding; it also carries a stronger implication of an elaborate ceremony
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I don't object to married priests, but I do strongly object to their nuptials. . . . When a priest . . . indulges in an immense artistic wedding, I feel there is something undignified and almost unpleasant about it— Mackenzie

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Espousal, often as the plural espousals, differs little from nuptial except in its extended application. In the latter use it implies a spiritual union, especially one that is dependent upon a vow or pledge
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let every act of worship be like our espousals, Lord, to thee— John Wesley

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • marriage — mar·riage / mar ij/ n 1: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law see also divorce 2: the ceremony… …   Law dictionary

  • marriage — is traditionally conceived to be a legally recognized relationship, between an adult male and female, that carries certain rights and obligations. However, in contemporary societies, marriage is sometimes interpreted more liberally and the phrase …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Marriage — Mar riage, n. [OE. mariage, F. mariage. See {Marry}, v. t.] 1. The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony. [1913 Webster] Marriage is honorable in all.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • marriage — (n.) c.1300, act of marrying, entry into wedlock; also state or condition of being husband and wife; from O.Fr. mariage marriage; dowry (12c.), from V.L. *maritaticum (11c.), from L. maritatus, pp. of maritatre to wed, marry, give in marriage… …   Etymology dictionary

  • marriage — ► NOUN 1) the formal union of a man and a woman, by which they become husband and wife. 2) a combination of two or more elements. ● marriage of convenience Cf. ↑marriage of convenience ORIGIN Old French mariage, from marier marry …   English terms dictionary

  • marriage — [n] legal joining of two people; a union alliance, amalgamation, association, confederation, conjugality, connubiality, consortium, coupling, espousal, holy matrimony, link, match, mating, matrimony, merger, monogamy, nuptials, pledging,… …   New thesaurus

  • marriage — [mar′ij] n. [ME mariage < OFr < marier: see MARRY1] 1. the state of being married; relation between spouses; married life; wedlock; matrimony 2. the act of marrying; wedding 3. the rite or form used in marrying 4. any close or intimate… …   English World dictionary

  • Marriage — For other uses, see Marriage (disambiguation). Married and Matrimony redirect here. For other uses, see Married (disambiguation) and Matrimony (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • MARRIAGE — This article is arranged according to the following outline: the concept in the bible in sectarian teaching in rabbinic literature in medieval and modern times marriage ceremony in the bible in the talmud post talmudic period the marriage… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • marriage — /mar ij/, n. 1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. 2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy… …   Universalium


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