English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English wedlok, wedlocke (wedlock, marriage, matrimony), from Old English wedlāc (marriage vow, pledge, plighted troth, wedlock). By surface analysis, wed +‎ -lock.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

wedlock (countable and uncountable, plural wedlocks)

  1. The state of being married.
    Synonyms: matrimony, marriage
  2. (obsolete) A wife; a married woman.
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, The Poetaster:
      Which of these is thy Wedlock, Menelaus? thy Hellen? thy Lucrece? that we may do her Honour; mad Boy?
    • 1643, John Milton, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce:
      What is it then but that desire which God put into Adam in Paradise before he knew the sin of incontinence; that desire which God saw it was not good that man should be left alone to burn in; the desire and longing to put off an unkindly solitarines by uniting another body, but not without a fit soule to his in the cheerfull society of wedlock.

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