noun mar·riage \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\

Definition of marriage

  1. 1 a (1) :  the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) :  the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage> b :  the mutual relation of married persons :  wedlock c :  the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

  2. 2 :  an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially :  the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

  3. 3 :  an intimate or close union <the marriage of painting and poetry — J. T. Shawcross>

Examples of marriage in a sentence

  1. It was his second marriage.

  2. They have a very happy marriage.

  3. Her first two marriages ended in divorce.

  4. She has old-fashioned ideas about marriage.

  5. couples living together before marriage

  6. Many friends and relatives were present at their marriage.

  7. a priest who has performed many marriages

  8. a marriage of sweet and spicy flavors

  9. a marriage of science and art

  10. a marriage between form and function

Origin and Etymology of marriage

Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry

First Known Use: 14th century

MARRIAGE Defined for English Language Learners


noun mar·riage \ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\

Definition of marriage for English Language Learners

  • : the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife

  • : a similar relationship between people of the same sex

  • : a ceremony in which two people are married to each other

MARRIAGE Defined for Kids


noun mar·riage \ˈmer-ij\

Definition of marriage for Students

  1. 1 :  the state of being united in a legal relationship as husband and wife

  2. 2 :  the act of getting married

Law Dictionary


noun mar·riage \ˈmar-ij\

Legal Definition of marriage

  1. 1 :  the state of being united to a person as spouse in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law — see also divorce ,Obergefell v. Hodges — compare civil union

  2. 2 :  the ceremony containing certain legal formalities by which a marriage relationship is created

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