be·​troth·​al | \bi-ˈtrō-t͟həl, -ˈtrȯ-, -thəl, bē-\

Definition of betrothal 

1 : the act of betrothing or fact of being betrothed

2 : a mutual promise or contract for a future marriage

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Synonyms & Antonyms for betrothal


engagement, espousal, troth



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Examples of betrothal in a Sentence

They were both young at the time of their betrothal. the couple's betrothal lasted four years

Recent Examples on the Web

Last month, Chopra and Jonas confirmed their betrothal with a wave of Instagrams from their engagement celebration in her native India, and effectively thrust themselves ahead of Grandson in the Instagram couple power rankings. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Are We All So Obsessed With Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas?," 19 Sep. 2018 Single women are prohibited because tiaras represent betrothal and unavailability. Jessica Pan, The Cut, "The 10 Most Bizarre Royal Etiquette Rules," 17 May 2018 The Infanta, however, would not countenance a betrothal to a Protestant husband. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "In London, Investigating the Personal Collection of an Art-Obsessed Royal," 17 Feb. 2018 The king and queen went on to announce their daughter's betrothal. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "The Story of Queen Elizabeth's Wedding Day," 4 Dec. 2017 The chemicals makers officially completed their deal Thursday, becoming DowDuPont after first announcing their betrothal in December 2015. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Dow, DuPont merger finally complete nearly 2 years after deal reached," 1 Sep. 2017 Asked about putting a ring on it by Access Hollywood while promoting his new movie Burnt, the actor was a little bummed that everyone now knew about their betrothal. Samantha Leal, Marie Claire, "Bradley Cooper Wanted His Engagement to Amy Schumer to Be a Secret," 15 Oct. 2015 Whether or not Meghan will land at Heathrow with an big ol’ ring on her finger (or, according to the Star, matching Zulu betrothal bracelets) is unclear. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Amid Engagement Rumors, Meghan Markle Gets Another Royal Stamp of Approval," 14 Aug. 2017 The dire agreement affects him almost as a betrothal might. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Yorker, "A Neglected South American Masterpiece," 23 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'betrothal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of betrothal

1683, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for betrothal

see betroth

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Statistics for betrothal

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for betrothal

The first known use of betrothal was in 1683

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More Definitions for betrothal



English Language Learners Definition of betrothal

: the act of promising to marry someone

: an agreement that two people will be married in the future


be·​troth·​al | \bi-ˈtrō-t͟həl, -ˈtrȯ-\

Kids Definition of betrothal

: an engagement to be married

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More from Merriam-Webster on betrothal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for betrothal

Spanish Central: Translation of betrothal

Nglish: Translation of betrothal for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about betrothal

Comments on betrothal

What made you want to look up betrothal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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