brid·​al | \ ˈbrī-dᵊl How to pronounce bridal (audio) \

Definition of bridal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a marriage festival or ceremony



Definition of bridal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a bride or a wedding : nuptial
2 : intended for a newly married couple a bridal suite

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Synonyms for bridal

Synonyms: Noun

espousal, marriage, nuptial(s), wedding

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Did You Know?

A secondary meaning of Old English ealu, the ancestor of Modern English ale, was “feast, banquet,” at which the drinking of ale was a prominent activity. There were a number of these feasts and banquets that survived into the 19th century, but the oldest and best-established was the bride-ale, or wedding feast, attested in Old English as brydealu. In Middle English the ale half of the word had lost its stress and was associated with the noun suffix –al (as in funeral) and the adjective suffix (as in parental). By the 18^th^ century, bridal was perceived primarily as an adjective, as it is today.

Examples of bridal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Last month, Selena threw Country a gorgeous pool-side bridal shower in Los Angeles, complete with champagne, baked treats, and plenty Insta-worthy best friend moments from the party. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Celebrates Her BFF's Bachelorette Party in Cabo San Lucas," 13 Feb. 2019 Things really began when Priyanka hosted her own bridal shower at Tiffany & Co in New York in October, swiftly followed by a bachelorette trip to Amsterdam, and some casual bridal party shopping in Paris. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas Have Joined Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas in India for Pre-Wedding Celebrations," 27 Nov. 2018 While eveningwear, grand gowns, custom bridal, and royal dressing don't immediately come to mind when thinking of Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, that is surely about to change. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Peter Pilotto? Meet the Designer Behind Princess Eugenie's Wedding Gown," 12 Oct. 2018 But sussing out the big news in bridal, which wrapped just last week, requires quite a different perspective. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Fall 2019’s Top 7 Bridal Trends, from Major Sleeves to Gowns à la Meghan Markle," 19 Oct. 2018 To say that bridal designers were inspired by the upcoming nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would be an understatement. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "The 5 Wedding Dress Trends for Brides to Know in 2019," 30 Apr. 2018 Watch the new video, below, for Cardi’s over-the-top bridal looks, which are the perfect antidote to all of the prim pomp and circumstance from the weekend. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "After the Royal Wedding, Cardi B Has an Unexpected Bridal Moment of Her Own," 21 May 2018 With its many tiers, and its wispy fabric, Jenner's look bordered on bridal, but the risqué, naked element of the dress was in keeping with the model's style. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Gets Naked for a Second Time at Cannes," 12 May 2018 Even with her uses of bridal white (or lack there of), Wang is happy to take risks–but the brands use of color for bridal is not unique to this season. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Exclusive: Vera Wang Talks Bridal Risk-Taking, Bold Color and Her New Spring 2019 Collection," 13 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Gomez's fans have been anticipating Barry's wedding after the singer and actress was involved in pre-nuptial celebrations, like a beachy bachelorette party in Mexico and chic bridal shower. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selena Gomez Was a Beautiful Maid of Honor at Her Best Friend's Wedding," 22 Feb. 2019 Last night, Priyanka Chopra celebrated her engagement and impending nuptials to Nick Jonas with a bridal shower at the Blue Box Cafe, on the fourth floor of Tiffany & Co’s flagship on Fifth Avenue. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A Look Inside Priyanka Chopra’s Bridal Shower at Tiffany’s Blue Box Cafe," 29 Oct. 2018 And as many on-the-go It-girls know well, when done right, bare nails have the power to look incredibly well-groomed and not to mention, totally bridal. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lawrence Reveals Her Engagement Ring—And a Bridal Manicure Trend in the Making," 22 Feb. 2019 Rather, all of the bridal attendants were children. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meet Meghan Markle's Best Friend Jessica Mulroney," 20 Feb. 2019 Wayfair teamed up with the iconic bridal store to revamp two of the VIP dressing rooms—one of which is often featured on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress. Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Wayfair Registry Teamed up with Kleinfeld Bridal to Revamp Two of the VIP Dressing Rooms," 19 Feb. 2019 This boho-chic retailer is Anthropologie's bridal sister brand, serving up Anthro-levels of chicness, but in the formal dress department. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "All the Best Places to Shop for Prom Dresses in New York City," 29 Jan. 2019 Next January, Cobo Center will fill the space with a boat show and bridal event. Adrienne Roberts, WSJ, "Slush, Snow, the ‘Cobo Cough.’ Detroit Holds Its Last Winter Auto Show," 13 Jan. 2019 In San Francisco, my grandparents owned a small factory that made bridal gowns. Faith Cummings, Teen Vogue, "Derek Lam Gives Advice to Young Designers in Powerful Open Letter," 23 Oct. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bridal


Middle English bridale, from Old English brȳdealu, from brȳd + ealu ale — more at ale

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Learn More about bridal

Dictionary Entries near bridal





bridal box


bridal party

Statistics for bridal

Last Updated

26 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for bridal

The first known use of bridal was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bridal



English Language Learners Definition of bridal

: of or relating to a bride or a wedding


brid·​al | \ ˈbrī-dᵊl How to pronounce bridal (audio) \

Kids Definition of bridal

: of or relating to a bride or a wedding

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More from Merriam-Webster on bridal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bridal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bridal

Spanish Central: Translation of bridal

Nglish: Translation of bridal for Spanish Speakers

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