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wedlock

The noun wedlock means marriage; you might describe your newly-married sister as "entering the magical state of wedlock."

Wedlock is an old-fashioned word for matrimony, the state of being married. It comes up most often in the phrase "out of wedlock," when gossipers are describing a baby born to unmarried parents. Even though wedlock sounds like it would have a root meaning of "locked into marriage," it actually comes from the Old English wedlac, from wed, "pledge," and lac, which denotes action.

Definitions of wedlock
  1. noun
    the state of being a married couple voluntarily joined for life (or until divorce)
    synonyms: marriage, matrimony, spousal relationship, union
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    types:
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    bigamy
    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
    misalliance
    an unsuitable alliance (especially with regard to marriage)
    monandry
    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
    cuckoldom
    the state of a husband whose wife has committed adultery
    polygamy
    having more than one spouse at a time
    sigeh
    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
    mesalliance
    a marriage with a person of inferior social status
    monogyny
    having only one wife at a time
    serial monogamy
    a succession of short monogamous relationships (as by someone who undergoes multiple divorces)
    polyandry
    having more than one husband at a time
    polygyny
    having more than one wife at a time
    type of:
    marital status
    the condition of being married or unmarried
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