Definition of espouse
1 : marry
2 : to take up and support as a cause : become attached to
espouse was our Word of the Day on 02/16/2013. Hear the podcast!
Examples of espouse in a sentence
The new theory has been espoused by many leading physicists.
Those espousing unpopular views were often excluded.
Did You Know?
As you might guess, the words "espouse" and "spouse" are related, both deriving from the Latin verb spondēre, meaning "to promise or betroth." In fact, the two were once completely interchangeable, with each serving as a noun meaning "a newly married person" or "a husband or wife" and also as a verb meaning "to marry." Their semantic separation began in the 17th century, when the noun "espouse" fell out of use. Around the same time, people started using the verb "espouse" figuratively to mean "to commit to and support a cause." "Spouse" continued to be used in both noun and verb forms until the 20th century, when its verb use declined and it came to be used mainly as a noun meaning "husband or wife."
Origin and Etymology of espouse
Middle English, from Anglo-French espuser, from Late Latin sponsare to betroth, from Latin sponsus betrothed — more at spouse
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of espouse
ESPOUSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of espouse for English Language Learners
: to express support for (a cause, belief, etc.)
Seen and Heard
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