be·​trothed | \ bi-ˈtrōt͟hd How to pronounce betrothed (audio) , -ˈtrȯtht \

Definition of betrothed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: engaged to be married a betrothed couple … clasped hands, signifying the bond between betrothed men and women …— Mary Feilden For three years she and Emilio Estevez were an item and were even betrothed for a time.People Weekly(old-fashioned) her betrothed husband [=her fiancé; the man to whom she is engaged]



Definition of betrothed (Entry 2 of 2)

: the person to whom someone is engaged to be married … she put on her grey silk gown and her cherry coloured ribbon with as much care as if she had been herself the betrothed.— George Eliot On this occasion he showed no affectionate desire to embrace his betrothed.— Anthony Trollope

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Synonyms & Antonyms for betrothed

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of betrothed in a Sentence

Noun he gazed lovingly at his betrothed throughout the dinner
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As the truth unravels and the real villain of the story is unmasked, can there really be a fairytale ending for the betrothed pair? Rosy Cordero,, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil casts a weak spell with $36 million opening weekend," 20 Oct. 2019 As is often the case, the same performers who portray Theseus, duke of Athens, and his betrothed, Hippolyta, also play the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "The Restorative Power of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’," 7 Aug. 2019 Agnes is betrothed to Commander Judd, an original Son of Jacob who began Gilead. Susan Straight, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ sequel ‘The Testaments’ puts Margaret Atwood’s powers on full display," 4 Sep. 2019 In Nazareth, a city in the northern region of Galilee, a young girl named Mary was betrothed to Joseph, of the house of David. National Geographic, "Mary and Joseph were tested by a miracle. An angel saved them.," 9 May 2019 Megan’s brother, the comedian John Reynolds, officiated the ceremony, which, suffice to say, induced guests and the betrothed to tears of laughter. Tara Lamont-djite, Harper's BAZAAR, "When Megan Met Henry: A Very British Wedding in Brooklyn," 11 Mar. 2019 In the 1700s, simple poesy rings were popular in Europe, while in New England, Puritan men—shunning frivolous rings—were thought to have given thimbles to their betrothed (though women often cut off the tops and wore them as rings anyway). Virginia Van Zanten, Vogue, "The Best Celebrity Engagement Rings of All Time," 6 Aug. 2018 Alrosa, the mining company, is mounting a campaign to tell the tale of its stones’ journeys from mines deep beneath the ground on to the fingers of betrothed couples around the world. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "A Diamond Giant Plays Up Its Russian Ties to Appeal to Americans," 11 July 2018 That's not what makes Pete Davidson's recent excursion with his betrothed, Ariana Grande, to the cosmetics boutique such a clear reflection that this is no fly-by-night infatuation. Marci Robin, Allure, "Pete Davidson Accompanied Ariana Grande to Sephora, So Yes, Their Love Is Real," 1 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meanwhile, a troop of ever-so-proper Dragoon Guards returns to town, and the soldiers are bemused to find all their betrotheds besotted with this fancified fop. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Patience’ not Gilbert and Sullivan’s best, but still worthy," 10 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'betrothed.' 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 betrothed


1557, in the meaning defined above


1594, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for betrothed


see betroth

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Time Traveler for betrothed

Time Traveler

The first known use of betrothed was in 1557

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Statistics for betrothed

Cite this Entry

“Betrothed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for betrothed


How to pronounce betrothed (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of betrothed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal + old-fashioned : engaged to be married



English Language Learners Definition of betrothed (Entry 2 of 2)

formal + old-fashioned : the person that someone has promised to marry

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