1. the state or relationship of living together in a legal partnership
a. the legal union or contract made by two people to live together
b. (as modifier): marriage licence; marriage certificate.
3. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
4. (Law) the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
5. a close or intimate union, relationship, etc: a marriage of ideas.
6. (Card Games) (in certain card games, such as bezique, pinochle) the king and queen of the same suit
[C13: from Old French; see marry1, -age]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. the social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes marriage.
4. an intimate living arrangement without legal sanction: a trial marriage.
5. any intimate association or union.
6. a blending of different elements or components.
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
the form of marriage in which brothers have a common wife or wives. — adelphogamic, adj.
the state or practice of being married to more than one wife or one husband at a time. — bigamist, n. — bigamous, adj.
the state of being single or unmarried, especially in the case of one bound by vows not to marry. — celibate, n., adj.
an advocate of celibacy.
the practice of a married woman having an escort or cavalier, called a cicisbeo, in attendance.
digamism. — deuterogamist, n. — deuterogamous, adj.
a second legal marriage after the termination of a first marriage by death or divorce. Also called deuterogamy. — digamist, n. — digamous, adj.
the custom of marrying only within one’s tribe or similar social unit. — endogamic, endogamous, adj.
a song or poem composed and performed in honor of a bride or groom.
the practice of marrying only outside one’s tribe or similar social unit. — exogamic, exogamous, adj.
1. Obsolete, a form of mania characterized by strange and extravagant proposals of marriage.
2. an excessive longing for the married state.
an abnormal fear of marriage.
the killing of a husband. — mariticidal, adj.
the act or state of marriage; married life. — matrimonial, adj.
a hatred of marriage. — misogamist, n. — misogamic, adj.
the custom of marriage to only one man at a time. — monandrous, adj.
the custom of marriage to one wife or one husband at a time. — monogamous, adj.
designating or pertaining to a marriage between a man of high social standing and a woman of lower station in which the marriage contract stipulates that neither she nor their offspring will have claim to his rank or property.
a person recently married; a newlywed.
the condition of being marriageable, especially in reference to a woman’s age or physical development. — nubile, adj.
a form of marriage in which every woman in a community is married to every man and every man is married to every woman. — pantagamic, adj.
the best man or maid of honor at a wedding.
the practice of having two or more husbands at a time. — polyandrous, adj.
the practice or state of being married to more than one person at a time. — polygamous, adj.
the practice of having two or more wives at a time. — polygynous, polygynious, adj.
a nuptial or wedding song or verse.
the condition of having three spouses, especially in the criminal sense of having them simultaneously. — trigamous, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
cheese and kisses Rhyming slang for missis, one’s wife. This British expression is popular in Australia, where it is frequently shortened to simply cheese. It also enjoys some use on the West Coast of the United States. Ernest Booth used the phrase in American Mercury in 1928.
Darby and Joan A happily married, older couple; an old-fashioned, loving couple. According to one account, the pair was immortalized by Henry Wood-fall in a love ballad entitled “The Joys of Love Never Forgot: A Song,” which appeared in a 1735 edition of Gentleman’s Magazine, a British publication. Darby is John Darby, a former employer of Woodfall’s. Joan is Darby’s wife. The two were inseparable, acting like honeymooners even into their golden years. Darby and Joan was also the name of a popular 19th-century song. Darby and Joan Clubs are in Britain what Senior Citizens’ Clubs are in the United States. The word darbies is sometimes used as a nickname for handcuffs. The rationale is that handcuffs are an inseparable pair.
go to the world To be married or wed, to become man and wife. World in this expression refers to the secular, lay life as opposed to the religious, clerical life. The phrase, no longer heard today, dates from at least 1565. It appeared in Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well:
But, if I may have your ladyship’s good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may. (I, iii)
jump over the broomstick To get married; said of those whose wedding ceremony is informal or unofficial. Variants include to marry over the broomstick, to jump the besom, and to jump the broom. This expression, which dates from the late 18th century, refers to the informal marriage ceremony in which both parties jumped over a besom, or broomstick, into the land of holy matrimony. Although neither the ceremony nor the phrase is common today, they were well-known to Southern Negro slaves, who were not considered important enough to merit church weddings, and so were married by jumping over the broomstick.
There’s some as think she was married over the broom-stick, if she was married at all. (Julian Hawthorne, Fortune’s Fool, 1883)
mother of pearl Girlfriend or wife. This phrase is rhyming slang for girl, but applies almost exclusively to females who are girlfriends or wives.
my old dutch Wife. This expression of endearment is a British colloquialism for one’s spouse. Here dutch is short for duchess.
plates and dishes Rhyming slang for missis, one’s wife. Plates and dishes are a rather pointed reference to the household duties of a wife.
step off See DEATH.
trouble and strife Rhyming slang for wife, dating from the early 1900s. According to Julian Franklyn (A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang), this is the most widely used of the many rhyming slang phrases for wife, including struggle and strife, worry and strife, and the American equivalent storm and strife.
Picturesque Expressions: A Thematic Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1980 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.