marriage

1. (noun) A socially recognized union between two or more people with the notion of permanence.

2. (noun) A legal contract between two or more people that establishes certain rights and obligations.

Example: Open marriage or polygamy.

Audio Pronunciation: (mar·riage)

Download Audio Pronunciation: marriage.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: marriages
  • Due to the continuum of marriage variations across legal jurisdictions, societies and cultures no single definition can encapsulate such a dynamic term and nonstandardized term.
  • In the United States, a marriage offers more legal rights and responsibilities than a civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Marriage, along with family, is a primary social unit and a mechanism to govern authority, descent, inheritance, legitimacy of children, and mate selection.
  • A marriage is typically marked by a ritual (wedding) to indicate a change in status for the participants that often change their rights and roles.
  • Cross-cultural analysis of marriage forms was studied by George Peter Murdock (1897–1985) in the Ethnographic Atlas, a data set of over 1,000 societies.
  • Also called:
    • matrimony
    • spousal relationship
    • union
    • wedlock
  • Types:
  • Marriage used in a sentence: They started to discuss marriage after dating for over a year.

Additional Information:

Related Terms: 

 


Works Consulted

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How to Cite the Definition of Marriage

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “marriage.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 19, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/marriage/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

marriage. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/marriage/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “marriage.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 19, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/marriage/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“marriage.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 19 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/marriage/>.