Definition of marriage noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



1 [countable] the legal relationship between a husband and wifea happy/unhappy marriageAll of her children's marriages ended in arranged marriage (= one in which the parents choose a husband or wife for their child)She has two children by a previous marriage.This is his second marriage. see also mixed2 [uncountable] the state of being marriedThey don't believe in marriage.My parents are celebrating 30 years of marriage.3 [countable] the ceremony in which two people become husband and wifeTheir marriage took place in a local Wedding is more common in this meaning.IDIOMS

by marriage

when someone is related to you by marriage, they are married to someone in your family, or you are married to someone in their family
Jane and I are related by marriage

someone's hand (in marriage)

(old-fashioned) permission to marry someone, especially a womanHe asked the general for his daughter's hand in marriage.handhand in marriage
Usage noteUsage note: Marriage and Divorceromancefall/be (madly/deeply/hopelessly) in love (with someone)be/believe in/fall in love at first sightbe/find true love/the love of your lifesuffer (from) (the pains/pangs of) unrequited lovehave/feel/show/express great/deep/genuine affection for someone/somethingmeet/marry your husband/wife/partner/fiancé/fiancée/boyfriend/girlfriendhave/go on a (blind) datebe going out with/dating a guy/girl/boy/man/womanmove in with/live with your boyfriend/girlfriendweddingsget/be engaged/married/divorcedarrange/plan a weddinghave a big wedding/a honeymoon/a happy marriagehave/enter into an arranged marriagecall off/cancel/postpone your weddinginvite someone to/go to/attend a wedding/a wedding ceremony/a wedding receptionconduct/perform a wedding ceremonyexchange rings/wedding vows/marriage vowscongratulate/toast/raise a glass to the happy couplebe/go on your honeymoon (with your wife/husband)celebrate your first (wedding) anniversaryseparation and divorcebe unfaithful to/ (informal) cheat on your husband/wife/partner/fiancé/fiancée/boyfriend/girlfriendhave an affair (with someone)break off/end an engagement/a relationshipbreak up with/ (informal) dump your boyfriend/girlfriendseparate from/be separated from/leave/divorce your husband/wifeannul/dissolve a marriagefile for/ask for/go through/get a divorceget/gain/be awarded/have/lose custody of the childrenpay alimony/child support (to your ex-wife/husband)