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mar·riage (mărĭj)
n.
1.
a. The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
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.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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