fiancée

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

Definition of fiancée 

: a woman engaged to be married

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Synonyms for fiancée

Synonyms

betrothed, fiancé, 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 fiancée in a Sentence

My fiancée and I will be married in June. his fiancée is insisting on an elaborate wedding

Recent Examples on the Web

The Senators were eager to deal him amid a dispute between him and his fiancee and Senators captain Erik Karlsson and his wife. CBS News, "Mike Hoffman traded by Ottawa Senators after fiancee accused of cyberbullying," 19 June 2018 Luyendyk, son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk and a driver himself in the 2006 race, attended the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with his new fiancee, Lauren Burnham. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "After ‘Bachelor’ drama, Arie Luyendyk Jr. attends IndyCar race with Lauren Burnham," 12 Mar. 2018 Pete Davidson isn't just loved-up with his fiancee Ariana Grande. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Pete Davidson Confirms His Engagement to Ariana Grande on 'Fallon': 'I'm a Lucky Motherf---er'," 21 June 2018 The former Baltimore Ravens running back was charged with aggravated assault after an early morning fight with his fiancee in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in February 2014. Eric Levenson, CNN, "NFL's anthem decision shows the league's obsession with visuals and optics," 24 May 2018 Some very important advice today: How not to break up with your fiancee. Fox News, "President Trump cautiously optimistic about North Korea," 7 Mar. 2018 When Tazruk and his fiancee, who was holding their baby, stepped in, T.P. punched both of them too. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man attacked roommate with ‘Legend of Zelda’ sword – and a real knife, charges say," 30 Jan. 2018 At the time, Bieber was only sixteen, while his future fiancee was fourteen. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This Vintage Photo of Hailey Baldwin & Justin Bieber," 9 July 2018 Dear Abby: Our son and his fiancee are having a destination wedding. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Mom wants to ban alcoholic daughter from son’s reception," 8 July 2018

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

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fiancée

French, feminine of fiancé — see fiancé

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Dictionary Entries near fiancée

fiacre

fiador

fiancé

fiancée

fianchetto

Fianna

fiants

Statistics for fiancée

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fiancée

The first known use of fiancée was in 1835

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More Definitions for fiancée

fiancée

noun
fi·an·cée | \ˌfē-ˌän-ˈsā\

Kids Definition of fiancée

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

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Spanish Central: Translation of fiancée

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