common-law marriage

noun
a marriage without a civil or ecclesiastical ceremony, generally resulting from an agreement to marry followed by the couple's living together.

Origin:
1905–10

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To common-law marriage
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

common-law marriage definition


A legal marriage brought about by the cohabitation of a man and a woman, or by their agreement to consider themselves married, rather than by a wedding. (See common law.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
But in this state there is no such thing as a common-law marriage.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature