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[nuhp-shuh l, -chuh l] /ˈnʌp ʃəl, -tʃəl/
of or relating to marriage or the marriage ceremony:
the nuptial day; nuptial vows.
of, relating to, or characteristic of mating or the mating season of animals:
nuptial behavior.
Usually, nuptials. a wedding or marriage.
Origin of nuptial
1480-90; (Middle French) < Latin nuptiālis, equivalent to nupti(ae) marriage, wedding, derivative of nubēre to marry (of a woman); cf. nubile
Related forms
nuptially, adverb
quasi-nuptial, adjective
Synonym Study
3. See marriage.
Pronunciation note
The pronunciations
[nuhp-choo-uh l] /ˈnʌp tʃu əl/ (Show IPA)
[nuhp-shoo-uh l] /ˈnʌp ʃu əl/
by analogy with such words as mutual and actual, are not considered standard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nuptial
  • The bride will be a vision in traditional nuptial white, right down to her.
  • Eight months and eight days ago, tonight's nuptial couple met at a party attended by professed vampires and vampire wannabees.
  • Their explosive acts of heroism are fatal but fruitless attempts to prevent other males from consummating your nuptial flight.
  • Today, of course, people are far too pragmatic to consider whether or not their nuptial plans uphold ancient patrician values.
  • The film begins conventionally enough, with the happy couple's nuptial ceremony.
  • Everyone, in fact, seems downright delirious--from the usual near- frantic nuptial logistics and from unconcealed fiscal rapture.
  • They hold a pre-nuptial feast, one that the governor attends.
  • Sparrows mate and nest, termites appear suddenly for brief nuptial flights, and even human couples are seen pairing off.
  • Similar to nuptial adults, but somewhat more deeply or richly colored.
  • The queen mates during one period of her life in a series of excursions called nuptial flights.
British Dictionary definitions for nuptial


/ˈnʌpʃəl; -tʃəl/
relating to marriage; conjugal: nuptial vows
(zoology) of or relating to mating: the nuptial flight of a queen bee
Derived Forms
nuptially, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin nuptiālis, from nuptiae marriage, from nubere to marry
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 nuptial

late 15c., from Middle French nuptial, or directly from Latin nuptialis "pertaining to marriage," from nuptiae "wedding," from nupta, fem. past participle of nubere "to marry, wed, take as a husband," related to Greek nymphe "bride," from PIE *sneubh- "to marry, wed" (cf. Old Church Slavonic snubiti "to love, woo," Czech snoubiti "to seek in marriage," Slovak zasnubit "to betroth"). Related: Nuptially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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