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

affianced, bespoke (also bespoken) [dialect], engaged, promised [chiefly dialect]

Synonyms: Noun

fiancé, fiancée, intended

Antonyms: Adjective


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Examples of betrothed in a Sentence


he gazed lovingly at his betrothed throughout the dinner

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Get into the habit of good posture (no one wants to be memorialized as a hunchback walking down the aisle), and maybe ask your betrothed to snap some portraits to put you at ease in front of the lens. Lili Göksenin, Vogue, "How To Look Good In Wedding Photos—The Definitive Insider's Guide," 23 June 2018 Hello, everyone who is not my betrothed, please consider loving this. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Instagram, Divorce, and the Modern Busybody’s Secret Weapon," 8 June 2018 With the royal wedding happening in a little more than one month, Meghan Markle fever is at an all-time high, with everything the former Suits actor or her betrothed Prince Harry doing becoming international news. Melissa Minton, Allure, "The Internet Is Not Here for This Article on Meghan Markle's "Single Gray Hair"," 5 Apr. 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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Statistics for betrothed

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Time Traveler for betrothed

The first known use of betrothed was in 1557

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More Definitions for betrothed



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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Comments on betrothed

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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