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common-law marriage

a marriage without a civil or ecclesiastical ceremony, generally resulting from an agreement to marry followed by the couple's living together.
Origin of common-law marriage
1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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common-law marriage in Culture

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.
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