When you speak up in favor of something or support a cause, that's espousal. Your espousal of energy conservation can be seen in your electric car and the solar panels on your house.

Espousal of one political candidate over another can be expressed with a sign in your yard or a big financial contribution to the campaign. During a debate, each person adopts the espousal of one strong viewpoint and then they argue with each other. In the old days, an espousal was an engagement or a wedding — gaining a spouse, in other words. This is the original meaning, with the figurative "married to principles" definition dating from about 1670.

Definitions of espousal
  1. noun
    the act of accepting with approval; favorable reception
    synonyms: acceptance, acceptation, adoption
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    bosom, embrace
    a close affectionate and protective acceptance
    type of:
    approval, approving, blessing
    the formal act of approving
  2. noun
    the act of becoming betrothed or engaged
    synonyms: betrothal
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    type of:
    rite, ritual
    any customary observance or practice
  3. noun
    archaic terms for a wedding or wedding feast
    synonyms: bridal
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    type of:
    marriage, marriage ceremony, wedding
    the act of marrying; the nuptial ceremony
Word Family
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