fiancé

noun
fi·​an·​cé | \ˌfē-ˌän-ˈsā, fē-ˈän-ˌsā\

Definition of fiancé 

: a man engaged to be married

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Synonyms for fiancé

Synonyms

betrothed, fiancée, intended

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Promises, Promises: The History of Affidavit, Affiance, & Fiancé

Affidavit refers to a written promise, and its Latin roots connect it to another kind of promise in English. It comes from a past tense form of the Latin verb affidare, meaning “to pledge”; in Latin, affidavit translates to “he or she has made a pledge.”

Affidare is also the root of affiance, an archaic English noun meaning “trust, faith, confidence,” “marriage contract or promise,” or a meaning that has completely fallen from use, “close or intimate relationship.” More familiar to modern English speakers is the verb affiance, meaning “to promise in marriage” or “to betroth.” It usually appears as a fancy-sounding participial adjective:

I like to give affianced friends a copy of Rebecca Mead’s book “One Perfect Day,” which exposes the ridiculous wedding industry.
—Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist, 7 October 2014

Affiance came through French to English in the 14th century, and, nearly 500 years later, the related French words fiancé and fiancée were added to English. Etymologically speaking, a fiancé or fiancée is a “promised one.”

Fiancé or fiancée?

People may well be anxious, when referring to their betrothed, to make sure that they use the correct term. So the fact that fiancé and fiancée are pronounced exactly the same may cause some degree of worry and uncertainty. These two words are borrowed directly from French, in which language they have equivalent but gendered meanings: fiancé refers to a man who is engaged to be married, and fiancée refers to a woman. We have, as of this date, no evidence suggesting that the meaning of either word is affected by the gender of the person to whom the fiancé or fiancée is engaged.

Examples of fiancé in a Sentence

Let me introduce my fiancé. couldn't wait to show off her fiancé to all of her relatives

Recent Examples on the Web

Now Miley Cyrus has gone and done it: Fans noticed Cyrus started deleting hundreds of posts from her Instagram account—including ones with fiance Liam Hemsworth—and had wiped all of her posts by the end of the week. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "Miley Cyrus Deleted Her Entire Instagram, and Fans Are Freaking Out," 15 July 2018 The enterprise has given more than 20,000 wedding dresses and 20 free weddings to military and first responder brides-to-be or their fiances since it was created in 2008. Morgan Hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Curing the flu, wedding dresses for soldiers, and food for the elderly," 13 July 2018 Among those in attendance, were his members of his fiance's family. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "Quite a Story: Irving native leads Rockies past Rangers at his 'Yankee Stadium'," 15 June 2018 Scott used his fiance's phone to text his mother with a screenshot that showed his name, the No. Christopher Dabe, NOLA.com, "How Boston Scott, once considered too small for football, became a Saints' draft pick," 17 May 2018 The actress has two sons, 14-year-old Ryder, with ex-husband Chris Robinson, and 6-year-old Bingham, with ex-fiance Matt Bellamy. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Hudson Just Gave Birth to a Baby Girl and Her Name Is So Unique," 3 Oct. 2018 Smith’s fiance, Dewayne Poling, and Laing had played on the same men’s slow-pitch softball tournament team. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette staffer Rebecca Smith remembered by family, friends as 'beautiful soul'," 9 July 2018 Barbara is survived by her husband and children, and Joan's husband, Daniel Roy, Andrew's fiance, Holly MacMillan, and 11 grandchildren. courant.com, "Barbara Ann Vigneau," 7 July 2018 According to his Linked In profile, her fiance is a software engineer. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "WSVN-Ch. 7 anchor Belkys Nerey is engaged. Who's the lucky guy?," 30 May 2018

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

1838, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fiancé

French, from Middle French, from past participle of fiancer to promise, betroth, from Old French fiancier, from fiance promise, trust, from fier to trust, from Vulgar Latin *fidare, alteration of Latin fidere — more at bide

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Dictionary Entries near fiancé

FIA

fiacre

fiador

fiancé

fiancée

fianchetto

Fianna

Statistics for fiancé

Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for fiancé

The first known use of fiancé was in 1838

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More Definitions for fiancé

fiancé

noun
fi·​an·​cé | \ˌfē-ˌän-ˈsā\

Kids Definition of fiancé

: a man that a woman is engaged to be married to

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More from Merriam-Webster on fiancé

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fiancé

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiancé

Spanish Central: Translation of fiancé

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