Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to marriage; nuptial.
  • adj. Of or relating to a spouse.
  • n. Marriage; nuptials. Often used in the plural.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or relating to marriage
  • adj. of or relating to a spouse, spouses; to the relationship between spouses
  • n. marriage; nuptials; espousal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a spouse or marriage; nuptial; matrimonial; conjugal; connubial; bridal.
  • n. Marriage; nuptials; espousal; -- generally used in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to marriage or espousal; nuptial; bridal; connubial.
  • n. Marriage; nuptials; espousal: often used in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of or relating to a wedding
  • adj. relating to a spouse

Etymologies

From Middle English spousaille, marriage, from Old French espousaille, from Latin spōnsālia, betrothal, from neuter pl. of spōnsālis, of marriage, from spōnsus, past participle of spondēre, to pledge; see spouse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From spouse +‎ -al (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Attempted rape in spousal exception states is another good example of this.

    Matthew Yglesias » Financial Crisis and Causation

  • Anonymous said ... why is a gravy train spousal support?

    Prenup? Does that register?

  • She refers to her spousal relationship as "marital don't ask, don't tell." p.

    Forbes.com: News

  • Heck, let’s throw in spousal criticism and call it a character trait.

    Balloon Juice » 2006 » July

  • Alimony (also called spousal support) is tax deductible to the payor and taxable income to the payee.

    How To Make Divorce Less Taxing

  • Hearing about Cindy, I often want to call a spousal abuse center on her behalf.

    FANTASTIC! and no comparison

  • Second, the mere fact that you would want to "call a spousal abuse center" on Cindy McCain demonstrates your liberal superiority complex.

    FANTASTIC! and no comparison

  • For instance, alimony also called spousal support or maintenance will be set according to your ability to meet your own needs--or pay for those of your spouse--after the court distributes whatever property you have between you.

    Divorce: Trust Fund Feuds

  • It is quite another for the government to deprive them of a simple civil marriage license that entitles spousal benefits to the queer couple; in hospitals, on living wills, in probate court, in pensions and retirement benefits, you know all those nice things married people can do for each other.

    Archive 2005-03-01

  • And among other things, they say that the state ought to get Medicaid block-granted, and they ought to have the right to get rid of the so-called spousal impoverishment rule.

    Remarks By President To Afl Cio Convention

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  • I have not loved a Roman, not to know
    What should become his wife; his wife, my Charmion!
    For ’tis to that high title I aspire;
    And now I’ll not die less. Let dull Octavia
    Survive, to mourn him dead: My nobler fate
    Shall knit our spousals with a tie, too strong
    For Roman laws to break.

    - John Dryden, 'All for Love'.

    September 20, 2009