Etymology
Advertisement
levirate (n.)

custom by which the male next-of-kin of a dead man was bound to marry his widow, 1725, with -ate (2) + Latin levir "brother-in-law," from PIE *daiwer- "husband's brother" (source also of Greek daer, Sanskrit devara, Old English tacor, Old High German zeihhur). Related: Leviratic; leviratical.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
marriage (n.)
Origin and meaning of marriage

c. 1300, mariage, "action of entering into wedlock;" also "state or condition of being husband and wife, matrimony, wedlock;" also "a union of a man and woman for life by marriage, a particular matrimonial union;" from Old French mariage "marriage; dowry" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *maritaticum (11c.), from Latin maritatus, past participle of maritare "to wed, marry, give in marriage" (see marry (v.)). The Vulgar Latin word also is the source of Italian maritaggio, Spanish maridaje, and compare mariachi.

Meanings "the marriage vow, formal declaration or contract by which two join in wedlock;" also "a wedding, the celebration of a marriage; the marriage ceremony" are from late 14c. Figurative use (non-theological) "intimate union, a joining as if by marriage" is from late 14c.

[W]hen two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition until death do them part. [G.B. Shaw, preface to "Getting Married," 1908]

Marriage counseling is recorded by that name by 1939. Marriage bed, figurative of marital intercourse generally, is attested from 1580s (bed of marriage is from early 15c.).

Related entries & more 
remarriage (n.)

also re-marriage, "any marriage after the first," 1610s, from re- "again" + marriage (n.).

Related entries & more 
agamy (n.)

"non-recognition of marriage" (by a state, etc.), from Greek a- "not" (see a- (3)) + -gamia, from gamos "marriage" (see gamete).

Related entries & more 
matrimonial (adj.)

mid-15c., "of or pertaining to marriage, connubial, nuptial," from Old French matrimonial (14c.) and directly from Late Latin matrimonialis, from Latin mātrimōnium "wedlock, marriage" (see matrimony). Earlier as a noun meaning "a marriage" (late 15c.). Related: Matrimonially.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
-gamy 

word-forming element meaning "marriage" in anthropology and "fertilization" in biology, from Greek -gamia, from gamos "marriage" (see gamete).

Related entries & more 
hypogamy (n.)

"marriage of a woman into a lower class, caste, or tribe," 1940, an anthropologist's word first used in an Indian context, from hypo- "under, beneath" + -gamy "marriage." Related: Hypogamous.

Related entries & more 
matrimony (n.)

c. 1300, matrimoine, "the married state, the relation of husband and wife, wedlock; the sacrament of marriage," from Old French matremoine "matrimony, marriage" and directly from Latin mātrimōnium "wedlock, marriage" (in plural "wives"), from mātrem (nominative māter) "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + -mōnium, suffix signifying "action, state, condition."

Related entries & more 
marriageable (adj.)

"capable of marrying, fit or competent to marry, of an age and condition suitable for marriage," 1550s, from marriage + -able. Earlier was mariable (mid-15c.). Related: Marriageability.

Related entries & more 
misogamy (n.)

"hatred of marriage," 1650s, from Modern Latin misogamia, abstract noun from Greek misogamos "hating marriage;" see miso- + -gamy.

Related entries & more