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Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English marien, from Anglo-Norman marier, from Latin marītāre (to wed), from marītus (husband, suitor), from Proto-Indo-European *meryo (young man), same source as Sanskrit मर्य (marya, suitor, young man). Compare its feminine derivatives - Welsh morwyn (girl), merch (daughter), Crimean Gothic marzus (wedding), Ancient Greek μεῖραξ (meirax, boy; girl), Lithuanian martì (bride), Avestan [script?] (mairya, yeoman).[script?][1])



marry (third-person singular simple present marries, present participle marrying, simple past and past participle married)

  1. (intransitive) To enter into the conjugal or connubial state; to take a husband or a wife. [from 14th c.]
    Neither of her daughters showed any desire to marry.
    • Evelyn
      A woman who had been married to her twenty-fifth husband, and being now a widow, was prohibited to marry.
  2. (transitive, in passive) To be joined to (someone) as spouse according to law or custom. [from 14th c.]
    She was not happily married.
    His daughter was married some five years ago to a tailor's apprentice.
  3. (transitive) To dispose of in wedlock; to give away as wife or husband. [from 14th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXIII:
      The kyngdome of heven is lyke unto a certayne kinge, which maryed his sonne [...].
  4. (transitive) To take for husband or wife. [from 15th c.]
    In some cultures, it is acceptable for an uncle to marry his niece.
  5. (transitive) Figuratively, to unite in the closest and most endearing relation. [from 15th c.]
    The attempt to marry medieval plainsong with speed metal produced interesting results.
    • Bible, Jer. iii. 14
      Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you.
  6. (transitive) To unite in wedlock or matrimony; to perform the ceremony of joining spouses, ostensibly for life; to constitute a marital union according to the laws or customs of the place. [from 16th c.]
    A justice of the peace will marry Jones and Smith.
    • Gay
      Tell him that he shall marry the couple himself.
  7. (nautical) To place (two ropes) alongside each other so that they may be grasped and hauled on at the same time.
  8. (nautical) To join (two ropes) end to end so that both will pass through a block.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English Marie,[2] referring to Mary, the Virgin Mary.[3] Mid-14th century.


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Particularly: “interjection”



  1. (obsolete) indeed!, in truth!; a term of asseveration.
    • William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part ii, Act 1, Scene 2,
      I have chequed him for it, and the young lion repents; marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk and old sack.


  1. ^ J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, s.v. "woman" (London: Dearborn Fitzroy, 1997), 656.
  2. ^ marry” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Online
  3. ^ marry” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

See also[edit]