Definition Essay Marriage

Topics: Oxford English Dictionary, Marriage, Dictionary Pages: 3 (827 words) Published: March 5, 2013
What is the Definition of Marriage?
What is the definition of marriage? Over the years, the word marriage has been challenged from its current definition as listed in Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as an act of marrying or being married between a man and a woman. Marriage can also be defined in the Oxford Dictionary as the formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife. The word marriage becomes a special type of bond between two people that share the same desire to become the other person’s life partner. Marriage can be challenging between two people based on their current government state laws, in their religious and cultural beliefs as well as challenging to the word to be defined as living with each other without going through legal and ceremonial traditions (Slater). The word marriage has evolved over the centuries by law. As stated by Hymowitz, marriage is a contract, regulated by the laws and ultimately enforceable by the state, that spells out property relations between the spouses as well as their inheritance rights and those of their children (33). With this understanding, the challenges of marriage between couples are being seen as merely as a legal right rather than the relationship itself. It wasn’t until the late eighteenth century when the emphasis of marriage was built more towards a loving relationship rather than an agreement of property (Hymowitz, 34). Marriage began to further change over the centuries and soon became more accepting as people spent more years of living together rather than going through the legal state of marriage. With this in mind, marriage can also become a challenge based on the couple’s religious and cultural beliefs. Marriage is also limited to the means and ways a woman and a man are brought together to be married by their religion and or cultural beliefs. As mentioned by Hymowitz, there are many cultures that define the term marriage as one that is arranged, some...

Cited: Cherlin, Andrew J. The Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today. New York: Knopf, 2009. Print.
Hymowitz, Kay S. Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post- Marital Age. Chicago: Dee, 2006. Print.
“marriage, n.” Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. 11th ed. 2003. Print.
“marriage, n.” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2013. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 30 Apr, 2007. Web. 16 Feb, 2013.
Robinson, B.A. “Marriage: Changes, including re-definitions, of marriage since before biblical times.” Ontario Consultants of Religious Tolerance. 12 Nov, 2012. Web. 10 Feb, 2013.
Slater, Lydia. “Does living together before marriage make you more likely to divorce?” MailOnline. Associated Newspaper Ltd, 10 Jun, 2012. Web. 18 Feb. 2013.
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