\ ˈspau̇s How to pronounce spouse (audio) also ˈspau̇z How to pronounce spouse (audio) \

Definition of spouse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: married person : husband, wife


\ ˈspau̇z How to pronounce spouse (audio) , ˈspau̇s How to pronounce spouse (audio) \
spoused; spousing

Definition of spouse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: wed

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Examples of spouse in a Sentence

Noun my brothers and sisters and their spouses employees and their spouses are covered by the health plan
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Think about it — what if the person killed in a police pursuit was your spouse, your child, your parent, your loved one? Mel Dickstein, Star Tribune, 17 July 2021 Hillary Clinton was the first presidential spouse on the cover in 1998 and the occasion celebrated her dignity in the face of her husband’s impeachment. Washington Post, 29 June 2021 In other words, perhaps there is no surviving spouse, full stop. Robert Goulder, Forbes, 18 June 2021 Eleanor Roosevelt was the first presidential spouse to speak at a party convention, as Dr. Biden did in the summer of 2020. Catherine Lucey, WSJ, 14 June 2021 This week, however, Biden steps into a global spotlight, complete with the expectations that come with being the spouse of the leader of the free world, and one that includes an audience with the Queen of England. Kate Bennett, CNN, 10 June 2021 Biden, 69, is the most prominent political spouse to continue her own professional career as a community college professor. Mika Brzezinski, NBC News, 1 June 2021 Philip was the longest-serving spouse of a reigning monarch and the oldest man in the British royal family. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, 12 Apr. 2021 Hertel is the spouse of state Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, who recused himself from the vote. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, 23 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spouse.' 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 spouse


13th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spouse


Middle English, from Anglo-French espus (masculine) & espuse (feminine), from Latin sponsus betrothed man, groom & sponsa betrothed woman, bride, both from sponsus, past participle of spondēre to promise, betroth; akin to Greek spendein to pour a libation, Hittite šipant-

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Time Traveler for spouse

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The first known use of spouse was in the 13th century

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Statistics for spouse

Last Updated

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spouse. Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for spouse



English Language Learners Definition of spouse

: someone who is married : a husband or wife


\ ˈspau̇s How to pronounce spouse (audio) \

Kids Definition of spouse

: a married person : husband, wife

More from Merriam-Webster on spouse

Nglish: Translation of spouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spouse for Arabic Speakers


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