(broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage: Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times. See Word Story at the current entry.
Also called opposite-sex marriage. the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc. See also traditional marriage (def 2). this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage; gay marriage.
the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: They have a happy marriage. Synonyms: matrimony. Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness.
the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage. Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding. Antonyms: divorce, annulment.
a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage.