from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To adhere to or advocate.
  • transitive verb To take in marriage; marry.
  • transitive verb To give (a woman) in marriage.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To promise, engage, or bestow in marriage; betroth.
  • To take in marriage; marry; wed.
  • To take to one's self, or make one's own; embrace; adopt; become a participator or partizan in: as, to espouse the quarrel of another; to espouse a cause.
  • To pledge; commit; engage.
  • noun A spouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To betroth; to promise in marriage; to give as spouse.
  • transitive verb To take as spouse; to take to wife; to marry.
  • transitive verb To take to one's self with a view to maintain; to make one's own; to take up the cause of; to adopt; to embrace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To become/get married to.
  • verb transitive To accept, support, or take on as one’s own (an idea or a cause).

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

  • verb take in marriage
  • verb choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans
  • verb take up the cause, ideology, practice, method, of someone and use it as one's own


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

[Middle English espousen, to marry, from Old French espouser, from Latin spōnsāre, frequentative of spondēre, to betroth; see spend- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English espousen, from Old French espouser, from Latin spōnsāre, present active infinitive of spōnsō (frequentative of spondeō), from Proto-Indo-European *spend-


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  • Now, of course, much of what osteopathic medicine has always espoused is rapidly becoming part of all medical training.

    May 26, 2010

  • Those people who didn't espouse the more extreme measures of the Fellowship were going to get a real wake-up call tonight. -Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas

    December 11, 2010

  • verb: to adopt or support an idea or cause

    As a college student, Charlie espoused Marxism, growing his beard out and railing against the evils of the free-market.

    October 19, 2016