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[ih-spouz, ih-spous] /ɪˈspaʊz, ɪˈspaʊs/
verb (used with object), espoused, espousing.
to make one's own; adopt or embrace, as a cause.
to marry.
to give (a woman) in marriage.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French espouser < Latin spōnsāre to betroth, espouse
Related forms
espouser, noun
unespoused, adjective
1. support, champion, advocate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for espouses
  • He espouses a tremendously attractive belief that good industrial design wins customers' trust by disappearing.
  • The fund espouses a different method of identifying cases of belt-tightening.
  • Mercifully, no mainstream politician espouses a return to outright protectionism.
  • Anyone with a proper high school education could expose every proposition he espouses as a lie.
  • And, it's despicable that someone who espouses that view has even made it this far.
  • The solution is thus market driven, something your newspaper generally espouses.
  • It's the kind of ideology that espouses peace and harmony, and will bomb people to introduce it.
  • Tallis in the only character in the book who almost always espouses ethical ideas which turn out to be sound.
  • Whole language is an educational philosophy that advocates and espouses student-centered, activity-based learning.
  • Many of the principles, practices, and policies he espouses and has found effective may be applicable to other cooperatives.
British Dictionary definitions for espouses


verb (transitive)
to adopt or give support to (a cause, ideal, etc): to espouse socialism
(archaic) (esp of a man) to take as spouse; marry
Derived Forms
espouser, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French espouser, from Latin spōnsāre to affiance, espouse
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 espouses



mid-15c., "to take as spouse, marry," from Old French espouser "marry, take in marriage, join in marriage" (11c., Modern French épouser), from Latin sponsare, past participle of spondere (see espousal).

Extended sense of "adopt, embrace" a cause, party, etc., is from 1620s. Related: Espoused; espouses; espousing. For initial e-, see especial.

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

(2 Sam. 3:14), to betroth. The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage. Espousals are in the East frequently contracted years before the marriage is celebrated. It is referred to as figuratively illustrating the relations between God and his people (Jer. 2:2; Matt. 1:18; 2 Cor. 11:2). (See BETROTH.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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