\ˈspau̇s also ˈspau̇z \

Definition of spouse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: married person : husband, wife


\ˈspau̇z, ˈspau̇s\
spoused; spousing

Definition of spouse (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb


: wed

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Other Words from spouse


spousal \ˈspau̇-zəl, -səl \ adjective

Synonyms for spouse

Synonyms: Noun

better half, consort, mate, partner

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Examples of spouse in a Sentence


my brothers and sisters and their spouses employees and their spouses are covered by the health plan

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

On June 26, the spouses celebrated their baby girl on the way at an extravagant shower in Atlanta, with a theme of Bardi Shower: A Bronx Fairytale. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, "Cardi B and Offset Welcome Daughter Kulture Kiari," 11 July 2018 To refuse residency to an EU citizen's spouse may interfere with that citizen's right to move freely. Emanuella Grinberg, CNN, "EU's top court backs residency rights for same-sex couples," 5 June 2018 Allen was charged with corporal injury to a spouse, cohabitant or child’s parent, assault with a firearm, and two counts of criminal threats. Megan Cassidy, San Francisco Chronicle, "Fairfield parents accused of abusing 10 kids had history of domestic violence," 15 May 2018 The current First Lady, Melania Trump, is married to the most divisive President in recent history—and forget scrutiny: Rampant speculation surrounds her in an effort to understand her reclusive life (especially so compared to her bombastic spouse). Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Melania Trump ‘Can't Even Open a Window at the White House,’ Says France's First Lady," 28 Apr. 2018 According to the Augusta Chronicle, once a badge-holder dies, the badge is only transferable to a surviving spouse and cannot be passed on to others. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "How Much are Masters Tickets?," 5 Apr. 2018 Some of the crimes include robbery and gun crimes, DUI, corporal injury to a spouse, among other things. Fox News, "Ingraham: Washington's real March Madness," 21 Mar. 2018 Under former Internal Revenue Service rules, money paid to a former spouse could be subtracted from the payer's taxable income, lowering his or her tax burden. Ben Steverman, Houston Chronicle, "Tax overhaul may mean more acrimonious divorce negotiations," 16 Feb. 2018 Under former Internal Revenue Service rules, money paid to a former spouse could be subtracted from the payer’s taxable income, lowering his or her tax burden. Bloomberg.com, "Trump’s Tax Law Could Make Divorces More Bitter," 15 Feb. 2018

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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Learn More about spouse

Dictionary Entries near spouse

spot white

spot zone






Statistics for spouse

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spouse

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

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More Definitions for spouse



English Language Learners Definition of spouse

: someone who is married : a husband or wife


\ˈspau̇s \

Kids Definition of spouse

: a married person : husband, wife

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Comments on spouse

What made you want to look up spouse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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