Definition of marriage noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmærɪdʒ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmærɪdʒ//
    Legal processes, Marriage, Religious ceremonies
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  1. 1  [countable] the legal relationship between a husband and wife a happy/an unhappy marriage All of her children's marriages ended in divorce. an 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 mixed See related entries: Legal processes, Marriage
  2. 2[countable] (in some countries) a similar relationship between partners of the same sex see also equal marriage
  3. 3  [uncountable] the state of being married They don't believe in marriage. My parents are celebrating 30 years of marriage.
  4. 4  [countable] the ceremony in which two people become husband and wife Their marriage took place in a local church. Wedding is more common in this meaning. CollocationsMarriage and divorceRomance fall/​be (madly/​deeply/​hopelessly) in love (with somebody) be/​believe in/​fall in love at first sight be/​find true love/​the love of your life suffer (from) (the pains/​pangs of) unrequited love have/​feel/​show/​express great/​deep/​genuine affection for somebody/​something meet/​marry your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have/​go on a (blind) date be going out with/(especially North American English) dating a guy/​girl/​boy/​man/​woman move in with/​live with your boyfriend/​girlfriend/​partnerWeddings get/​be engaged/​married/​divorced arrange/​plan a wedding have a big wedding/​a honeymoon/​a happy marriage have/​enter into an arranged marriage call off/​cancel/​postpone your wedding invite somebody to/​go to/​attend a wedding/​a wedding ceremony/​a wedding reception conduct/​perform a wedding ceremony exchange rings/​wedding vows/​marriage vows congratulate/​toast/​raise a glass to the happy couple be/​go on honeymoon (with your wife/​husband) celebrate your first (wedding) anniversarySeparation and divorce be unfaithful to/(informal) cheat on your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have an affair (with somebody) break off/​end an engagement/​a relationship break up with/​split up with/ (informal) dump your boyfriend/​girlfriend separate from/​be separated from/​leave/​divorce your husband/​wife annul/​dissolve a marriage apply for/​ask for/​go through/​get a divorce get/​gain/​be awarded/​have/​lose custody of the children pay alimony/​child support (to your ex-wife/​husband) See related entries: Religious ceremonies
  5. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French mariage, from marier ‘marry’. Wordfinderaffair, date, go out with somebody, jealous, love, marriage, partner, passionate, relationship, romantic Wordfinderbest man, bride, ceremony, engaged, honeymoon, marriage, propose, reception, stag night, weddingWord Familymarry verbmarriage nounmarried adjective (unmarried)Extra examples He had an unhappy marriage with an older woman. More divorced people have joined the marriage market. Mr and Mrs Wall invite you to the marriage of their daughter Ann to Mr Thomas Lea. Same-sex marriages are recognized in some countries already. She wanted to be present at the marriage of her grandson. She was the child of a broken marriage. She was the dominant partner in the marriage. She’s his daughter by a previous marriage. Their marriage ended in divorce. They are related by marriage. They are struggling to save their marriage for the children’s sake. her marriage to Jim his marriage into a wealthy family sex outside marriage the marriage between John and Elizabeth All of her children’s marriages ended in divorce. Theirs was a happy marriage. an arranged marriageIdioms when somebody is related to you by marriage, they are married to somebody in your family, or you are married to somebody in their family Jane and I are related by marriage. See related entries: Family background
    somebody’s hand (in marriage)
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    (old-fashioned) permission to marry somebody, especially a woman He asked the general for his daughter's hand in marriage.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: marriage