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:

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