espouse

Use the verb espouse to describe the actions of someone who lives according to specific beliefs, such as your friends who espouse environmentalism and as a result walk whenever possible instead of taking the car.

You can see the word spouse in espouse, so you may be wondering what husbands and wives have to do with it. Originally espouse did mean "to marry," but its meaning has evolved to include other long-term commitments as well, such as support for a principle or a cause. Similar to marriage, if you espouse a belief system, the idea is that you've chosen to wed yourself to it.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: espouse

1
v
choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans
2
v
take in marriage
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: espouse
1

v choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans

“The candidate espouses Republican ideals”
Synonyms:
adopt, follow
abide by, comply, follow
act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
Types:
adhere, stick
be a devoted follower or supporter
Type of:
choose, pick out, select, take
pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives

v take up the cause, ideology, practice, method, of someone and use it as one's own

Synonyms:
adopt, embrace, sweep up
Types:
fasten on, hook on, latch on, seize on, take up
adopt
Type of:
accept
consider or hold as true
2

v take in marriage

Synonyms:
conjoin, get hitched with, get married, hook up with, marry, wed
marry, splice, tie, wed
perform a marriage ceremony
Types:
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inmarry
marry within one's own tribe or group
mismarry
marry an unsuitable partner
wive
marry a woman, take a wife
wive
take (someone) as a wife
intermarry
marry within the same ethnic, social, or family group
remarry
marry, not for the first time
Type of:
unify, unite
act in concert or unite in a common purpose or belief
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