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[mey-zuh-lahy-uh ns, mey-zal-ee-uh ns; French mey-zal-yahns] /ˌmeɪ zəˈlaɪ əns, meɪˈzæl i əns; French meɪ zalˈyɑ̃s/
noun, plural mésalliances
[mey-zuh-lahy-uh n-siz, mey-zal-ee-uh n-siz; French mey-zal-yahns] /ˌmeɪ zəˈlaɪ ən sɪz, meɪˈzæl i ən sɪz; French meɪ zalˈyɑ̃s/ (Show IPA)
a marriage with someone who is considered socially inferior; misalliance.
Origin of mésalliance
1775-85; < French; see mis-1, alliance
Can be confused
mésalliance, misalliance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mesalliance
Historical Examples
  • In fact, she has the curious feeling that I and Summit would suffer by a mesalliance.

    The Ego Machine Henry Kuttner
  • As it appears, he has made a mesalliance that he did not care to acknowledge.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
  • The virtuous woman then saw, when it was too late, that it was she who had formed a mesalliance.

  • After that mesalliance her father never would see her again.

    The Parisians, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Bryce Denning is very angry at what he evidently considers his sister's mesalliance.

    The Man Between Amelia E. Barr
  • You were deeply grieved over the mesalliance of Miss Lamotte?

    The Diamond Coterie Lawrence L. Lynch
  • Mrs. Pomfret did not wish to see Victoria make a mesalliance.

    Mr. Crewe's Career, Complete Winston Churchill
  • If he decides to marry into them, she can be of great use in saving him from a mesalliance.

    The Kentons William Dean Howells
  • An ancestress of ours made a mesalliance in the reign of your King John.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • It was a mesalliance of a sort that pricked him tenderly; it savored grossly of bargain and sale.

British Dictionary definitions for mesalliance


/mɛˈzælɪəns; French mezaljɑ̃s/
marriage with a person of lower social status
Word Origin
C18: from French: misalliance
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 mesalliance

"marriage with a person of lower social position," 1782, from French mésalliance, from pejorative prefix mes- (from Latin mis-; see mis-) + alliance (see alliance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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