shotgun marriage


: a marriage forced or required because of pregnancy

called also shotgun wedding

: a forced union
a spate of brokerage mergers … hastily arranged shotgun marriagesJohn Brooks

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the past the authorities have avoided forcing losses on account-holders after banks have failed, by arranging shotgun marriages with healthy institutions. The Economist, 10 Oct. 2019 The Warriors have forced shotgun marriages like Paul and Harden, and right now, those two players have helped push Golden State the furthest in a playoff series since Durant joined the team. Rohan Nadkarni,, 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shotgun marriage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shotgun marriage was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near shotgun marriage

Cite this Entry

“Shotgun marriage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

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