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A couple in Malaysia at their nuptials

From nuptial,[1] borrowed from Latin nūptiālis (pertaining to marriage), from nūptiae (wedding) (also plural only), from nūpta, from nūbō (to marry, to take as husband), from Proto-Indo-European *sneubho-, *snewbʰ- (to marry, wed).[2]

The word is cognate with French noces and Italian nozze.



nuptials pl (plural only)

  1. A wedding ceremony. [from mid 16th c.]
    • 1712 March 7, Joseph Addison; Richard Steele, “MONDAY, February 25, 1711–1712 [Julian calendar]”, in The Spectator, number 310, London: J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, OCLC 1026609121; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, Carefully Revised, in Six Volumes: With Prefaces Historical and Biographical, volume IV, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, 1853, OCLC 191120697, page 47:
      I hope you will not think it is any manner of disrespect to your person or merit, that the intended nuptials between us are interrupted. My father says he has a much better offer for me than you can make, and has ordered me to break off the treaty between us.
    • 1842, Michael de Montaigne [i.e., Michel de Montaigne]; [Antoine] Jay; [Abel-François] Villemain; [Charles] Cotton, transl., “Of Friendship”, in William Hazlitt, editor, The Works of Michael de Montaigne; Comprising; the Essays (Translated by Cotton); the Letters; the Journey into Germany and Italy; Now First Translated; a Life, by the Editor; Notes from All the Commentators; the Critical Opinions of Eminent Authors on Montaigne; the Élodies of MM. Jay and Villemain; a Bibliographical Notice of All the Editions; and Copious Indexes, London: John Templeman, 248, Regent Street, OCLC 28193434, page 82, column 1:
      [O]f five talents he had, gave two and a half in marriage with an only daughter he had of his own, and two and a half in marriage with the daughter of Eudamidas, and in one and the same day solemnized both their nupitals.
    • 1990, X. Türk Tarih Kongresi: Ankara, 22–26 Eylül 1986: Kongreye Sunulan Bildiriler [10th Turkish History Congress: Ankara, 22–26 September 1986: Reported to the Congress] (Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayınları [Turkish Historical Society Publications]; 9, 10a), volume 2, Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi [Turkish Historical Society Printing House], →ISBN, page 2318:
      This Sultan [Abdul Hamid II], who [Pierre] Loti always admired, had, according to the author, graciously and magnanimously permitted both women to choose their husbands. The cousins celebrated their nupitals together, and then moved into adjoining palaces which the Sultan had built for them.
    • 2015, John Ngong Kum Ngong, “Nuptials at Vespers”, in Nuptials at Vespers & Other Strains: Poems, Mankon, Bamenda, Cameroon: Langaa Publishing & Research Common Initiative Group, →ISBN, page 7:
      We got hitched many years back / [] / The rains were severe that day / and the wild winds inclement / but the nuptials still took place.


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ nuptials” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
  2. ^ nuptial” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.

Further reading[edit]