betrothal

[bih-troh-thuhl, -traw-thuhl]
noun
the act or state of being betrothed; engagement.
Also, betrothment.


Origin:
1835–45; betroth + -al2

prebetrothal, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
betrothal (bɪˈtrəʊðəl)
 
n
1.  engagement to be married
2.  a mutual promise to marry

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

betrothal
1844, from betroth + -al (2).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

betrothal

promise that a marriage will take place. In societies in which premarital sexual relations are condoned or in which consensual union is common, betrothal may be unimportant. In other societies, however, betrothal is a formal part of the marriage process. In such cases a change of intention by one of the parties is a serious matter and may be referred to as a breach of promise, a civil transgression subject in some instances to a fine or other penalty

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The taboo comes into operation as soon as the betrothal has taken place and
  before the marriage has been celebrated.
Similar tasks mean similar work for those whose jobs relate to betrothal or
  bereavement or, perhaps, both.
And so they rejoiced in their betrothal together and they were so happy.
It was the first time he had seen her since her betrothal, and he remained for
  more than an hour with her.
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