\ 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

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

Though the women have gotten together since then, no one made plans for their usual holiday gathering with spouses. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, "Sure, Unfriend Her—Then Brace for an Awkward New Year’s Eve," 30 Dec. 2018 The model formerly isn’t the only one rocking swag emblazoned with her new spouse’s last name. Teen Vogue, "Hailey Bieber Is Doubling Down on Her New Last Name With Her Outfit," 19 Nov. 2018 For example, a husband or wife could ask a court to take away a spouse's firearms during a dispute. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "GOP lawmakers: Yes on 'stand your ground,' no on John Kasich's gun control ideas," 19 June 2018 Teachers also are limited to little or none of a deceased spouse's Social Security benefits under federal law that requires them to offset potential benefits based on their pensions. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "In Kentucky's pension fight, teachers want to remind you: They don't get Social Security.," 20 Mar. 2018 During the conversation, the prince sneaks in a small rub on his spouse's back. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Rubbed Meghan Markle's Back at a Royal Event and We All Missed It," 6 Sep. 2018 To run for federal office, Scott must report his financial assets and — unlike Florida's disclosure requirements — those of his spouse. Mary Ellen Klas, miamiherald, "Rick Scott and family made $550M in one transaction. How 'blind' is his blind trust?," 11 July 2018 And most Americans are not denied jobs because of the behavior of their spouses. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Why racially charged tweets by the wife of Bill Shine likely won’t matter much," 9 July 2018 Military service members and a few of their spouses took oaths to become U.S. citizens on Tuesday aboard the USS Midway Museum as part of Citizenship and Immigration Service’s celebration of Independence Day. Kate Morrissey, sandiegouniontribune.com, "49 military personnel and family members take citizenship oath on USS Midway," 3 July 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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Dictionary Entries near spouse

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Statistics for spouse

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on spouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spouse

Spanish Central: Translation of spouse

Nglish: Translation of spouse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spouse for Arabic Speakers

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).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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