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Definition of Marriage


Photo: Pinnacle Pictures / Getty Images
Photo: Pinnacle Pictures / Getty Images
Definition: A formal union, marriage is a social, and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, and emotionally. The contractual marriage agreement usually implies that the couple has legal obligations to each other throughout their lives or until they decide to divorce.

Being married also gives legitimacy to sexual relations within the marriage.

What is Marriage? A question we often receive is "What is marriage?" In order to define marriage, it is important to look at not only the historical period, but also on the geographical location and the cultural traditions of the individuals involved in the marriage relationship.

More Forms and Definitions of Marriage:

Also Known As: matrimony, nuptials, institution, wedding, espousal, wedlock, formal union, social union, legal contract
Common Misspellings: marraige, marrage, mawwiage
President George W. Bush: "What I do support is a notion that marriage is between a man and a woman."
Source: "Bush uncertain about gay marriage ban."CNN.com. 7/2/2003.

Readers Respond: How Do You Define Marriage? What is Marriage?

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