Matrimony is just a fancy way of saying "marriage." When a couple ties the knot, they are engaging in matrimony.

You can describe the actual wedding celebration as matrimony, and also the state of being married, although it's a formal word most often used in documents and in the words of the ceremony. The Latin word for matrimony is matrimonium, which comes from combining mater, "mother," with the suffix monium, "action or condition." In the old days, matrimony was basically the same thing as making a woman into a wife and mother.

Definitions of matrimony

n the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce)

marriage, spousal relationship, union, wedlock
show 17 types...
hide 17 types...
having two spouses at the same time
common-law marriage
a marriage relationship created by agreement and cohabitation rather than by ceremony
endogamy, inmarriage, intermarriage
marriage within one's own tribe or group as required by custom or law
exogamy, intermarriage
marriage to a person belonging to a tribe or group other than your own as required by custom or law
marriage of convenience
a marriage for expediency rather than love
an unsuitable alliance (especially with regard to marriage)
the state of having only one husband at a time
monogamousness, monogamy
having only one spouse at a time
open marriage
a marriage in which each partner is free to enter into extraneous sexual relationships without guilt or jealousy from the other
the state of a husband whose wife has committed adultery
having more than one spouse at a time
a Shiite tradition of temporary marriage permitted in Iran that allows a couple to specify the terms of their relationship; can last from a few minutes to 99 years
a marriage with a person of inferior social status
having only one wife at a time
serial monogamy
a succession of short monogamous relationships (as by someone who undergoes multiple divorces)
having more than one husband at a time
having more than one wife at a time
Type of:
marital status
the condition of being married or unmarried

n the ceremony or sacrament of marriage

Type of:
a formal religious ceremony conferring a specific grace on those who receive it; the two Protestant ceremonies are baptism and the Lord's Supper; in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church there are seven traditional rites accepted as instituted by Jesus: baptism and confirmation and Holy Eucharist and penance and holy orders and matrimony and extreme unction

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.