fiancé

noun
fi·​an·​cé | \ ˌfē-ˌän-ˈsā How to pronounce fiancé (audio) , 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

But a local videographer cost more than she and her then-fiance Quinton Swift could afford. azcentral, "427 couples paid for wedding videos. This Phoenix company never delivered," 27 June 2019 For weeks now, there’s been some buzz on the internet about Real Housewives Of Atlanta star Porsha Williams and her fiance Dennis McKinley possibly breaking up. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Everything We Know About Porsha Williams and Dennis McKinley's Alleged Split," 25 June 2019 After having drinks with her fiance, Nieves said, Sport took a shower and went to bed. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Here are the 9 Americans reported dead in the Dominican Republic in the past year," 19 June 2019 Sport, a resident of Pennsylvania, took a shower and went to bed after having drinks with her fiance, Nieves said. Rosa Flores, CNN, "After mysterious tourist deaths and shooting of David Ortiz, Dominican tourism officials seek to reassure travelers," 12 June 2019 Her new ink features a mini Vegemite jar on her arm, which is one of her fiance's favorite food. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Relationship," 27 Dec. 2018 The photo was captured by Grace Job on Cullen Boulevard late last week and posted on Reddit by her fiance. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "Houston man riding bicycle with swangas is the surest sign summer is coming," 30 Apr. 2018 Sophie Turner is on vacation with fiance Joe Jonas and his family, including BFF Priyanka Chopra. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Just Clapped Back at Nosy Paparazzi in the Most Brilliant Way," 27 Mar. 2019 The proposal itself was a total surprise; my fiance, Tom, spent four months planning it so that every single micro-detail was customized to reflect us and our relationship. Kaye Toal, SELF, "I'm Fat and I'm Not Going to Lose Weight for My Wedding," 1 Mar. 2019

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

14 Jul 2019

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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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