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

  • n. A marriage partner; a husband or wife.
  • transitive v. Archaic To marry; wed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person's husband or wife.
  • v. To wed; to espouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A man or woman engaged or joined in wedlock; a married person, husband or wife.
  • n. A married man, in distinction from a spousess or married woman; a bridegroom or husband.
  • transitive v. To wed; to espouse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take for a husband or a wife; wed; espouse.
  • To give in marriage.
  • n. A married person, husband or wife; either one of a married pair.

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

  • n. a person's partner in marriage


Middle English, from Old French spous, from Latin spōnsus, from past participle of spondēre, to pledge; see spend- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman espus, espuse and Old French espos, espose and by aphasis from Latin spōnsus ("bridegroom"), spōnsa ("bride"), from spondere ("to vow, to pledge"), from Proto-Indo-European *spend-. (Wiktionary)



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  • frindley would link to slice, now.

    June 21, 2008

  • I wish. But all I hear is:
    "Professors and their louse-sucking, mousey, cows of house-vowed spouses are invited to the Garden Party..."
    I just can't be faithful to an -ouse. Call me philandering, but other word endings seduce me by night and by day.

    May 7, 2008

  • Now, see? Spice sounds so much nicer than spouse.

    May 7, 2008

  • Plural: spice, of course.
    As in "Professors and their spice are invited to the Garden Party…"

    May 7, 2008