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[bih-trohth , -trawth] /bɪˈtroʊð, -ˈtrɔθ/
verb (used with object)
to arrange for the marriage of; affiance (usually used in passive constructions):
The couple was betrothed with the approval of both families.
Archaic. to promise to marry.
Origin of betroth
1275-1325; Middle English betrouthe, variant of betreuthe (be- be- + treuthe truth; see troth)
1. engage, promise, pledge, plight. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for betroth


(transitive) (archaic) to promise to marry or to give in marriage
Word Origin
C14 betreuthen, from be- + treuthetroth, truth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for betroth

c.1300, betrouthen, from bi-, here probably with a sense of "thoroughly," + Middle English treowðe "truth," from Old English treowðe "truth, a pledge" (see troth). Related: Betrothed; betrothing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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betroth in the Bible

to promise "by one's truth." Men and women were betrothed when they were engaged to be married. This usually took place a year or more before marriage. From the time of betrothal the woman was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was betrothed (Deut. 28:30; Judg. 14:2, 8; Matt. 1:18-21). The term is figuratively employed of the spiritual connection between God and his people (Hos. 2:19, 20).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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