the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.
a combination or mixture of two or more elements.
a. A legal union between two persons that confers certain privileges and entails certain obligations of each person to the other, formerly restricted in the United States to a union between a woman and a man.
b. A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
c. A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
d. A common-law marriage.
e. The state or relationship of two adults who are married: Their marriage has been a happy one.
2. A wedding: Where is the marriage to take place?
3. A close union: "the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream comics"(Lloyd Rose).
4. Games The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.
[Middle English mariage, from Old French, from marier, to marry; see marry1.]
1. the state or relationship of living together in a legal partnership
a. the legal union or contract made by two people to live together
b. (as modifier): marriage licence; marriage certificate.
3. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
4. (Law) the religious or legal ceremony formalizing this union; wedding
5. a close or intimate union, relationship, etc: a marriage of ideas.
6. (Card Games) (in certain card games, such as bezique, pinochle) the king and queen of the same suit
[C13: from Old French; see marry1, -age]
mar•riage (ˈmær ɪdʒ)
1. the social institution under which a man and woman live as husband and wife by legal or religious commitments.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes marriage.
4. an intimate living arrangement without legal sanction: a trial marriage.
5. any intimate association or union.
6. a blending of different elements or components.
[1250–1300; < Old French, =mari(er) to marry1 + -age-age]
designating or pertaining to a marriage between a man of high social standing and a woman of lower station in which the marriage contract stipulates that neither she nor their offspring will have claim to his rank or property.
Divorced men are like marked-down clothes; you get them after the season during which they would have made a sensation, and there is less choice, but they’re easier to acquire —Judith Martin
Divorce is like a side dish that nobody remembers having ordered —Alexander King
For an artist to marry his model is as fatal as for a gourmet to marry his cook: the one gets no sittings, and the other no dinners —Oscar Wilde
For an old man to marry a young girl is like buying a new book for somebody else to read —Anon
Getting married is like a healthy man going into a sickbed —Isaac Bashevis Singer
Getting married is serious business. It’s kinda formal, like funerals or playing stud poker —line from 1940 movie, They Knew What They Wanted
The actor voicing this was William Gargan.
He [husband of long-standing] is like an old coat, beautiful in texture, but easy and loose —Audrey Colvin, letter to New York Times/,Ll July 17, 1986
A husband, like religion and medicine, must be taken with blind faith —Helen Rowland
This has been modernized from “Like unto religion.”
Husbands, like governments must never admit they are wrong —Honoré de Balzac
Husbands are like (motor) cars; all are good the first year —Channing Pollock
Husbands are like fires, they go out when unattended —Zsa Zsa Gabor
Husbands should be like Kleenex, soft, clean and disposable —Madeline Kahn, interview, television news program, December, 1985
A husband without ability is like a house without a roof —Spanish proverb
It [a second marriage] is the triumph of hope over experience —Samuel Johnson
It [marriage] resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated; often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing any one who comes between them —Sydney Smith
It’s [the permanence of marriage] like having siblings: you can’t lose a brother or a sister. They’re always there —Germaine Greer, Playboy, January, 1972
It [marriage and motherhood] was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state —Sylvia Plath
Like suicide, divorce was something that had to be done on a thoughtless impulse, full speed ahead —R. V. Cassill
A man’s wife should fit like a good, comfortable shoe —Ukrainian proverb
A man with a face that looks like someone had thrown it at him in anger nearly always marries before he is old enough to vote —Finley Peter Dunne
Many a marriage has commenced like the morning, red, and perished like a mushroom … because the married pair neglected to be as agreeable to each other after their union as they were before it —Frederika Bremer
Marriage may be compared to a cage: the birds outside frantic to get in and those inside frantic to get out —Michel de Montaigne
The simile also appeared in a play by a sixteenth century dramatist, John Webster, beginning “Marriage is just like a summer bird cage in a garden.” See the French proverb below for yet another twist on the same theme.
Marriage from love, like vinegar from wine, a sad, sour, sober beverage —Lord Byron
Marriage is a good deal like a circus: there is not as much in it as is represented in the advertising —Edgar Watson Howe
Marriage is a hand grenade with the pin out. You hold your breath waiting for the explosion —Abraham Rothberg
Marriage is like a three-speed gearbox: affection, friendship, love —Peter Ustinov
Marriage is like a beleaguered fortress; those who are without want to get in, and those within want to get out —French proverb
Marriage is like a dull meal with the dessert at the beginning —dialogue from the movie, Moulin Rouge
The dialogue was spoken by Jose Ferrer as Toulouse Lautrec.
Marriage is like a long trip in a tiny rowboat: if one passenger starts to rock the boat, the other has to steady it; otherwise they’ll go to bottom together —Dr. David R. Reuben, Reader’s Digest, January, 1973
Marriage is like a river; it is easier to fall in than out —Anon
Marriage is like a ship; sometimes you just have to ride out the storm —“L. A. Law,” television drama, 1987
Marriage is like buying something you’ve been admiring for a long time in a shop window … you may love it when you get home but it doesn’t always go with everything else in the house —Jean Kerr
Marriage is like life in this … that it is a field of battle, and not a bed of roses —Robert Louis Stevenson
Marriage is like panty-hose; it all depends on what you put into it —Phyllis Schlafly
Marriage is like twirling a baton, turning handsprings or eating with chopsticks; it looks so easy till you try it —Helen Rowland
Marriage like death is nothing to worry about —Don Herod
Marriages are like diets. They can be ruined by having a little dish on the side —Earl Wilson
Marriages, like houses, need constant patching —Nancy Mairs, New York Times/Hers, July 30, 1987
The simile was the highlighted blurb to capture reader attention. Actually it was a capsulized paraphrase from Ms. Mairs’ own concluding words: “Marriages, like houses, haven’t got ‘ever afters’.” The stucco chips off and the cat falls through the screen and the bathroom drain runs slow. If you don’t want the house falling down around your ears, you must plan to learn to wield a trowel and a hammer and a plunger.
Marriages were breaking up as fast as tires blowing in a long race —Norman Mailer
A marriage that grew like a great book, filling twenty-five years with many thousands of elaborate and subtle details —Larry McMurtry
A (seventeen-year) marriage that had been patched like an old rubber tire gone too many miles on a treadmill —Paige Mitchell
(She had decided long before that) marriage was like breathing, as soon as you noticed the process, you stopped it at peril of your life —Laura Furman
A married man forms married habits and becomes dependent on marriage just as a sailor becomes dependent on the sea —George Bernard Shaw
Married so long … like Siamese twins they infect each other’s feelings —Mary Hedin
Marrying a daughter to a boor is like throwing her to a lion —Babylonian Talmud
Marrying a woman for her money is very much like setting a rat-trap, and baiting it with your own finger —Josh Billings
In Billings’ phonetic dialect: “munny is vera mutch like … with yure own finger.”
Matrimony, like a dip in the sea, first stimulates, then chills. But once out of the water the call of the ocean lures the bather to another plunge —Anon
Middle-aged marriages in which people seem stuck like flies caught in jelly —Norma Klein
Wedlock’s like wine, not properly judged of till the second glass —Douglas Jerrold
Wife swapping is like a form of incest in which nobody’s more guilty than anybody else —Germaine Greer, Playboy, January, 1972
cheese and kisses Rhyming slang for missis, one’s wife. This British expression is popular in Australia, where it is frequently shortened to simply cheese. It also enjoys some use on the West Coast of the United States. Ernest Booth used the phrase in American Mercury in 1928.
Darby and Joan A happily married, older couple; an old-fashioned, loving couple. According to one account, the pair was immortalized by Henry Wood-fall in a love ballad entitled “The Joys of Love Never Forgot: A Song,” which appeared in a 1735 edition of Gentleman’s Magazine, a British publication. Darby is John Darby, a former employer of Woodfall’s. Joan is Darby’s wife. The two were inseparable, acting like honeymooners even into their golden years. Darby and Joan was also the name of a popular 19th-century song. Darby and Joan Clubs are in Britain what Senior Citizens’ Clubs are in the United States. The word darbies is sometimes used as a nickname for handcuffs. The rationale is that handcuffs are an inseparable pair.
go to the world To be married or wed, to become man and wife. World in this expression refers to the secular, lay life as opposed to the religious, clerical life. The phrase, no longer heard today, dates from at least 1565. It appeared in Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well:
But, if I may have your ladyship’s good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may. (I, iii)
jump over the broomstick To get married; said of those whose wedding ceremony is informal or unofficial. Variants include to marry over the broomstick, to jump the besom, and to jump the broom. This expression, which dates from the late 18th century, refers to the informal marriage ceremony in which both parties jumped over a besom, or broomstick, into the land of holy matrimony. Although neither the ceremony nor the phrase is common today, they were well-known to Southern Negro slaves, who were not considered important enough to merit church weddings, and so were married by jumping over the broomstick.
There’s some as think she was married over the broom-stick, if she was married at all. (Julian Hawthorne, Fortune’s Fool, 1883)
mother of pearl Girlfriend or wife. This phrase is rhyming slang for girl, but applies almost exclusively to females who are girlfriends or wives.
my old dutch Wife. This expression of endearment is a British colloquialism for one’s spouse. Here dutch is short for duchess.
plates and dishes Rhyming slang for missis, one’s wife. Plates and dishes are a rather pointed reference to the household duties of a wife.
trouble and strife Rhyming slang for wife, dating from the early 1900s. According to Julian Franklyn (A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang), this is the most widely used of the many rhyming slang phrases for wife, including struggle and strife, worry and strife, and the American equivalent storm and strife.