es·​pouse | \ i-ˈspau̇z How to pronounce espouse (audio) also -ˈspau̇s \
espoused; espousing

Definition of espouse

transitive verb

1 : marry
2 : to take up and support as a cause : become attached to

Other Words from espouse

espouser noun

Synonyms for espouse


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Choose the Right Synonym for espouse

adopt, embrace, espouse mean to take an opinion, policy, or practice as one's own. adopt implies accepting something created by another or foreign to one's nature. forced to adopt new policies embrace implies a ready or happy acceptance. embraced the customs of their new homeland espouse adds an implication of close attachment to a cause and a sharing of its fortunes. espoused the cause of women's rights

Commit to Learning the History of Espouse

As you might guess, the words espouse and spouse are related, both deriving from the Latin verb spondēre, meaning "to promise" or "to 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 18th century, when the noun espouse fell out of use. Nowadays, espouse is most often seen or heard as a verb used in the figuratively extended sense "to commit to and support as 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."

Examples of espouse in a Sentence

The new theory has been espoused by many leading physicists. Those espousing unpopular views were often excluded.
Recent Examples on the Web Even those who in interviews did not espouse conspiracy theories like the birth-certificate claim confided to Skocpol and Williamson an uneasiness about the new president that went beyond normal partisanship. New York Times, 19 July 2022 Sure, there are people in the Democratic Party who espouse views that many view as radical. Frida Ghitis, CNN, 19 May 2022 People on TikTok may have their own incentives to espouse the virtues of permanent life insurance, including sponsorships or their own sales of these products. Robert Farrington, Forbes, 6 July 2022 Piker went on to espouse a viewpoint that’s proven unpopular online: Depp and Heard have both perpetrated forms of wrongdoing against each other. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 As the only European nation with territories and a military presence in the region, France was Europe’s leading voice for a China strategy less muscular than what the United States and some Asian powers have come to espouse., 23 Sep. 2021 As the only European nation with territories and a military presence in the region, France was Europe’s leading voice for a China strategy less muscular than what the United States and some Asian powers have come to espouse. New York Times, 23 Sep. 2021 As a result of Christian missionary efforts on tribal lands, some tribes espouse a blend of Christian and traditional beliefs and might lean conservative, van Schilfgaarde said. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 26 June 2022 Other institutions, like the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society, espouse less intense recommendations, but Esserman said most major breast centers adopt the radiologists’ suggestion. Angus Chen, STAT, 30 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'espouse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of espouse

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for espouse

Middle English, from Anglo-French espuser, from Late Latin sponsare to betroth, from Latin sponsus betrothed — more at spouse

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Time Traveler for espouse

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The first known use of espouse was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Espouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on espouse

Nglish: Translation of espouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of espouse for Arabic Speakers


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