fiancée

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

While on Basketball Wives, Green set the record straight and revealed that Young failed to come clean to his then-fiancee, who found out about the pregnancy on social media. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Ex-'Basketball Wives' Star Keonna Green and Nick Young Expecting Their Third Child," 11 June 2019 Two weeks ago, he and his fiancee, Erin, were married, and her roles in education have also shaped who Opara wants to be. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Outspoken Loons center back Ike Opara’s views on equality, concussions, his former club," 10 June 2019 The suspect talked about poisoning the child's breast milk that was stored in the refrigerator to get back at her brother and his fiancee for moving in. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "'Why didn't that baby die': Indiana teen who poisoned infant niece's breast milk pleads guilty," 13 Mar. 2018 Read this: Big changes for Kentucky's 'MasterChef' finalist Brandi Mudd — year off of teaching, new business and a cruise Hurt's fiancee encouraged him to try out for the show when auditions were held in Nashville. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Watch this Louisville native on the new season of 'MasterChef'," 5 June 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Flair’s fiancee, Wendy Barlow, confirmed to Pro Wrestling Sheet that Flair's surgery was a success. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "After an earlier life-saving operation, Ric Flair undergoes another surgery," 9 July 2018 Ronaldinho's two fiancees, Priscilla Coelho and Beatriz Souza, have been living with the soccer star at his Rio de Janeiro mansion since December, according to O Dia. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Ex-Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho to marry two women," 24 May 2018 In 2014, Baltimore running back Ray Rice was captured on video punching and knocking out his then-fiancee in an elevator. Tom Withers, The Seattle Times, "Browns give troubled running back Kareem Hunt second chance," 12 Feb. 2019 Everyone saw the video of former NFL star Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, now his wife. Washington Post, "Like Trump, many people refuse to believe domestic violence victims. That has to stop.," 12 Feb. 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

17 Jun 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on fiancée

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fiancée

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fiancée

Spanish Central: Translation of fiancée

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