espouse

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

Definition of espouse

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from espouse

espouser noun

Synonyms for espouse

Synonyms

marry, match, wed

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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 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."

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

The Los Angeles ruling alarmed groups that track white supremacist activity and fear the court victory could empower the group known for espousing anti-Semitic and other racist views. Washington Post, "Charges against alleged white supremacists tossed by judge," 4 June 2019 There are many theories for the purpose of these stones, but traveling through time was not one espoused by our guide. Deborah Doyle, National Geographic, "Hiking Off the Beaten Path in Scotland," 8 Apr. 2019 There’s a tendency for some Americans to view the Muslim Brotherhood as a kind of negative essence of Islam, as if all of the flaws of the organization can be attributed to the faith that its followers espouse. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency," 19 June 2019 Later, at the Kigali Genocide Memorial, hear the haunting stories of survivors and learn how the country is reconciling its turbulent past and espousing peace, unity, and progressive ideas to create a bright future. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 The Los Angeles ruling alarmed groups that track white supremacist activity and fear the court victory could empower the group known for espousing anti-Semitic and other racist views. NBC News, "Charges against alleged white supremacists tossed by judge," 5 June 2019 Getting Word participants testify to the ideals Jefferson expressed in the Declaration of Independence, while acknowledging and countering the racist fallacies Jefferson espoused that continue to affect the welfare of all Americans. Andrew M. Davenport, Smithsonian, "Putting Enslaved Families’ Stories Back in the Monticello Narrative," 14 June 2018 But as levels of violence diminish nationwide and bread-and-butter issues come to the fore, candidates from their ranks are espousing unity between Iraq’s majority Shiites and minority Sunnis and Kurds. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Iraq’s Shiite militias try to convert military victory into political power," 27 Apr. 2018 Hitler espoused a virulent form of anti-Semitism that offered German citizens an enemy to rally around. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "A 1938 Nazi Law Forced Jews to Register Their Wealth—Making It Easier to Steal," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near espouse

espontoon

Espoo

espousal

espouse

espressivo

espresso

espringal

Statistics for espouse

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for espouse

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

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More Definitions for espouse

espouse

verb

English Language Learners Definition of espouse

formal : to express support for (a cause, belief, etc.)

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More from Merriam-Webster on espouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with espouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for espouse

Spanish Central: Translation of espouse

Nglish: Translation of espouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of espouse for Arabic Speakers

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