A union of two or more people that creates a family tie and carries legal, social, and/or religious rights and responsibilities. [from 14th c.]
1944, Tiaki Hikawera Mitira, Takitimu, page 123:
By his marriage to his two wives, Tapuwae quietly strengthened all of the pas of the Wairoa district, as many of them came under his control through these unions.
1990, John Stevens, Lust for enlightenment: Buddhism and sex:
One layman in Buddha's time decided to embrace celibacy and relinquished his marriage vows to his four wives. When he asked them what they wanted in terms of a settlement, one said, […]
1995, Edith Deen, All of the women of the Bible, page 275:
The account of the loss of the blessing of his father Isaac appears immediately after Esau's marriage to his Hittite wives.
2009, Charles Zastrow, Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare: Empowering People→ISBN, page 30:
In an open marriage, the partners are free to have extramarital relationships or sex without betraying one another. Such a marriage is based on communication, trust, and respect, […]
(often specifically) The union of only two people, to the exclusion of all others.
1936, Dale Carnegie, “Part 1, Chapter 2. THE BIG SECRET OF DEALING WITH PEOPLE”, in How to Win Friends and Influence People, page 42:
"I have a patient right now whose marriage proved to be a tragedy. She wanted love, sexual gratification, children, and social prestige; but life blasted all her hopes. Her husband didn't love her. He refused even to eat with her, and forced her to serve his meals in his room upstairs. She had no children, no social standing. She went insane; and, in her imagination, she divorced her husband and resumed her maiden name. She now believes she has married into the English aristocracy, and she insists on being called Lady Smith.
My grandparents' marriage lasted for forty years.
Pat and Leslie's marriage to each other lasted forty years.
(sometimes specifically) The union of two people of opposite sex, to the exclusion of all others.
2000, Edmund E. Jacobitti, The Classical Heritage in Machiavelli's Histories, in The comedy and tragedy of Machiavelli: essays on the literary works (edited by Vickie B. Sullivan), page 181:
And this marriage of poetry and history remained a solid relationship throughout the classical period.
2003, Paul Mattick, Art in its time: theories and practices of modern aesthetics, page 105:
Above all, we will no longer have to feel qualms about the marriage of art and money. We will no longer have to wonder if it is possible to separate the esthetic value of an art work from its commercial value.
2006 August 9, Amy Scattergood, A wild dream in the wild, published in the Los Angeles Times, republished in 2009 in The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant (by Michelle and Phillip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price), on the cover:
But the food is real: a marriage of local ingredients and serious technique.
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