Definition of morganatic
: of, relating to, or being a marriage between a member of a royal or noble family and a person of inferior rank in which the rank of the inferior partner remains unchanged and the children of the marriage do not succeed to the titles, fiefs, or entailed property of the parent of higher rank
morganaticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
morganatic was our Word of the Day on 01/22/2015. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Did You Know?
Although the deprivations imposed on the lower-ranking spouse by a morganatic marriage may seem like a royal pain in the neck, the word morganatic actually comes from a word for a marriage benefit. The New Latin term morganatica means "morning gift" and refers to a gift that a new husband traditionally gave to his bride on the morning after the marriage. So why was the New Latin phrase matrimonium ad morganaticam, which means literally "marriage with morning gift," the term for a morganatic marriage? Because it was just that - the wife got the morning gift, but that's all she was entitled to of her husband's possessions.
Origin and Etymology of morganatic
New Latin matrimonium ad morganaticam, literally, marriage with morning gift
First Known Use: 1728See Words from the same year
Learn More about morganatic
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up morganatic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).