shotgun marriage

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From shotgun + marriage; compare shotgun wedding.


shotgun marriage (plural shotgun marriages)

  1. (countable) A marriage beginning with (resulting from) a shotgun wedding.
    • 1996, George A. Akerlof et al., “An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States” (journal article), reproduced in Explorations in Pragmatic Economics: Selected Papers of George A. Akerlof, Oxford University Press (2005), ISBN 978-19-925391-3, page 146:
      Others explained that a forced marriage was likely to end in an early divorce, so that the child would suffer more in a shotgun marriage than if born out of wedlock.
  2. (countable) A shotgun wedding itself.
  3. (uncountable) Such marriages, or such weddings, taken collectively.
  4. (countable and uncountable) Used figuratively.