Entries linking to marriageable
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.).
common termination and word-forming element of English adjectives (typically based on verbs) and generally adding a notion of "capable of; allowed; worthy of; requiring; to be ______ed," sometimes "full of, causing," from French -able and directly from Latin -abilis. It is properly -ble, from Latin -bilis (the vowel being generally from the stem ending of the verb being suffixed), and it represents PIE *-tro-, a suffix used to form nouns of instrument, cognate with the second syllables of English rudder and saddle (n.).
A living element in English, used in new formations from either Latin or native words (readable, bearable) and also with nouns (objectionable, peaceable). Sometimes with an active signification (suitable, capable), sometimes of neutral signification (durable, conformable). It has become very elastic in meaning, as in a reliable witness, a playable foul ball, perishable goods. A 17c. writer has cadaverable "mortal."
To take a single example in detail, no-one but a competent philologist can tell whether reasonable comes from the verb or the noun reason, nor whether its original sense was that can be reasoned out, or that can reason, or that can be reasoned with, or that has reason, or that listens to reason, or that is consistent with reason; the ordinary man knows only that it can now mean any of these, & justifiably bases on these & similar facts a generous view of the termination's capabilities; credible meaning for him worthy of credence, why should not reliable & dependable mean worthy of reliance & dependence? [Fowler]
In Latin, -abilis and -ibilis depended on the inflectional vowel of the verb. Hence the variant form -ible in Old French, Spanish, English. In English, -able tends to be used with native (and other non-Latin) words, -ible with words of obvious Latin origin (but there are exceptions). The Latin suffix is not etymologically connected with able, but it long has been popularly associated with it, and this probably has contributed to its vigor as a living suffix.
updated on November 27, 2018