civil marriage


: a marriage performed by a magistrate

Examples of civil marriage in a Sentence

a mayor who has officiated at several civil marriages this year
Recent Examples on the Web Gantz also wants to introduce term limits for prime ministers (Netanyahu has already had four) and to usher in civil marriages. David Meyer, Fortune, 17 Sep. 2019 Many abhor the separation of genders in public schools and universities and are dismayed that Jewish Israelis still can’t have civil marriages—and that the Chief Rabbinate has begun asking for genetic tests before allowing couples to marry. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, 10 Sep. 2019 There is one in his office and another in the room where town officials perform civil marriages. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, 30 May 2018 Lauren Elyse Fonda and Jeffrey Scott Gordinier were married Jan. 12 at the county courthouse in Santa Barbara, Calif. Alma Medina Figueroa, a deputy commissioner of civil marriages, officiated. New York Times, 14 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'civil marriage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1820, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of civil marriage was in 1820

Dictionary Entries Near civil marriage

Cite this Entry

“Civil marriage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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