The term “marriage” comes from the Old French word “mariage,” which means “a union between a man and a woman.” This is derived from the Latin word “maritare,” meaning “to marry” or “to wed.”

1. Proto-Indo-European (PIE)

The PIE root “*meryo-” means “young woman” or “wife.”

2. Latin

From the PIE root, the Latin word “maritare” developed, meaning “to marry” or “to wed.” The noun “maritatus” refers to the state of being married.

3. Old French (c. 9th to 14th century CE)

The Latin term “maritare” evolved into Old French “marier,” meaning “to marry,” and “mariage,” meaning “marriage” or “the state of being married.”

4. Middle English (c. 11th to 15th century CE)

The Old French “mariage” was adopted into Middle English as “mariage,” meaning “the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife.”

5. Modern English (from 15th century CE to present)

The term “marriage” evolved into its current form and pronunciation, broadening to mean “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.”

Phonetic Evolution

Over time, the pronunciation of “marriage” has remained relatively stable from Middle English to Modern English.

Usage Examples

  • “Marriage is often used to describe the union of two people as partners in a personal relationship.”
  • “Another example of ‘marriage’ in a sentence is ‘They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, marking a long and happy marriage.'”

Cultural or Historical Notes

The development of the word “marriage” was significantly influenced by cultural, religious, and legal norms regarding the union of individuals and the roles and responsibilities within such a union.

The word “marriage” reflects the formal and legal recognition of a partnership between individuals, emphasizing the social and personal significance of such a union in human societies.