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

Mayfield’s fiancee, Emily Wilkinson, also worked out with them. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland.com, "Baker Mayfield works out with Mark Wahlberg in L.A.," 27 June 2019 During the post-match press conference, a tournament volunteer translated English questions in Korean to Lee's fiancee, Soopin, who acted as a conduit between Lee and reporters. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Duckhee Lee: South Korean becomes first deaf player to win ATP Tour match," 20 Aug. 2019 Folks came from Butler County at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and fought to get in his chair, his fiancee, Michelle Martin told me. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Barber Donnie Johnson closed his Over-The-Rhine shop before Father's Day. He died 3 weeks later.," 25 July 2019 Rachel and her fiancee, Laurel Bowman, filed a complaint with Oregon's Board of Labor and Industries. NBC News, "Supreme Court sends gay wedding cake dispute back to state courts," 17 June 2019 Proudly posting a video of his fiancee on Instagram, Jonas revealed that the pair had taken time to visit an orphanage in Mumbai on Sunday, where Priyanka clearly made one girl's day by challenging her to a dance off. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Visited an Orphanage," 20 Aug. 2018 Zimmerman had confronted Martin, who was walking back to the home of his father's fiancee after making a purchase at a convenience store. Terry Spencer, Fox News, "White man charged with fatally shooting black man in Florida," 13 Aug. 2018 Vacationing in contemporary Paris with his fiancee, an insecure writer is whisked back in time and meets Jazz Age giants of art and literature. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Murphy welcomed his tenth child, son Max, in November with his fiancee Paige Butcher. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Eddie Murphy Says He’s Planning His Return to Stand-Up: ‘Everything Just Has to Be Right’," 18 July 2019

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

9 Sep 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

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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