a. A legal union between two persons that confers certain privileges and entails certain obligations of each person to the other, formerly restricted in the United States to a union between a woman and a man.
b. A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
c. A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
d. A common-law marriage.
e. The state or relationship of two adults who are married: Their marriage has been a happy one.
2. A wedding: Where is the marriage to take place?
3. A close union: "the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream comics" (Lloyd Rose).
4. Games The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.
[Middle English mariage, from Old French, from marier, to marry; see MARRY1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.