Definitions

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

  • noun The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
  • noun A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
  • noun A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
  • noun A common-law marriage.
  • noun The state or relationship of two adults who are married.
  • noun A wedding.
  • noun A close union.
  • noun Games The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The legal union of a man with a woman for life; the state or condition of being married; the legal relation of spouses to each other; wedlock.
  • noun The formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.
  • noun The celebration of a marriage; a wedding.
  • noun A marriage vow or contract.
  • noun Intimate union; a joining as if in marriage.
  • noun In various card-games, as bezique, the possession in one hand of the king and queen.
  • noun A marriage itself.
  • noun Same as marriage articles.

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

  • noun 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.
  • noun obsolete The marriage vow or contract.
  • noun A feast made on the occasion of a marriage.
  • noun Any intimate or close union.
  • noun In pinochle, bézique, and similar games at cards, the combination of a king and queen of the same suit. If of the trump suit, it is called a royal marriage.
  • noun The payment made or demanded for the procurement of a marriage.
  • noun knots of white ribbons, or bunches of white flowers, worn at weddings.
  • noun (Law) a settlement of property in view, and in consideration, of marriage.

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

  • noun A joining of two parts.
  • noun poker slang A king and a queen, when held as a hand in Texas hold 'em and some other card games.

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

  • noun the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony
  • noun two people who are married to each other
  • noun a close and intimate union
  • noun the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce)

Etymologies

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

[Middle English mariage, from Old French, from marier, to marry; see marry.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French mariage, from marier ("to marry"), from Latin marito ("to marry", literally “give in marriage"), from maritus ("lover", "nuptial"), from mas ("male", "masculine", "of the male sex").

Examples

  • It seems to me that the debate about gay marriage has been framed in two extremes: either you must accept homosexual unions as *exactly the same as heterosexual marriage* (the liberal position), or rail on about the Evil of the Gay Agenda (the conservative position).

    New Jersey, Being Subtle « Whatever

  • New Jersey - Chapter 37 - again, assumption of opposite-sex marriage but *no ban on same-sex marriage*.

    Gay Marriage in Portland

  • "But marriage, _marriage_, Emily -- why in Heaven's name should they be in such a hurry?"

    The Tin Soldier

  • The Queen, writing to her Uncle Leopold in this the twenty-first year of their marriage, says: "_Very_ few can say with me that their husband at the end of twenty-one years is _not_ only full of the friendship, kindness, and affection which a truly happy marriage brings with it, but the same tender love of the _very first days of our marriage_!"

    Queen Victoria

  • Now, Montaigne endeavours to apply this thought to the institution of marriage; and he descends, in doing so, to the following irrational argument: -- 'Let us select the most necessary and most useful institution of human society: _it is marriage_.

    Shakspere and Montaigne

  • Secondly, that in heaven they are not given in marriage, he taught by these words, "_Those who shall be accounted worthy to attain to another generation, neither marry nor are given in marriage_."

    The Delights of Wisdom Pertaining to Conjugial Love

  • If Hawaiians consider civil unions to be marriage by another name, why don't they just go ahead and call it what it is. *marriage*

    Gay/Lesbian Forum

  • If Hawaiians consider civil unions to be marriage by another name, why don't they just go ahead and call it what it is. *marriage*

    Gay/Lesbian Forum

  • Fritz: I want to completely get government out of the marriage business, but I do not think that "opp osed to same-sex marriage&# 8221; is sufficient for" vic ious and homopho ...

    Liberal Values

  • If Hawaiians consider civil unions to be marriage by another name, why don't they just go ahead and call it what it is. *marriage*

    Gay/Lesbian Forum

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "For years, lexicographers have pored over the term at the center of Supreme Court proceedings today, trying to tweak dictionary entries to reflect how all people use the word, regardless of their political persuasions. “Lexicographers end up in a no-win situation, where no matter what they do, somebody’s going to have trouble with the definition,” says Ben Zimmer, linguist and executive producer at Vocabulary.com.

    Some dictionaries, like the historically ordered Merriam-Webster, have added a second definition for same-sex marriage and left the main entry referring to a man and a woman. Zimmer points out that some gay rights activists balk at that fix, however, feeling a second definition suggests that gay marriage is second class. Other references, like the American Heritage Dictionary, have wedged more information into a single definition: “The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.”"

    From "Seven Hang-Ups in the Language of Gay Rights" by Katy Steinmetz

    (http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/27/seven-hang-ups-in-the-language-of-gay-rights/#ixzz2OmHlJlLl)

    March 27, 2013

  • The Universal Etymological Dictionary from 1675 uses the word 'marriage' in it's definitions of words, but doesn't define marriage

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=CFBGAAAAYAAJ&q=marriage

    So this whole 'marriage definition' problem is Nathan Bailey's fault.

    March 27, 2013