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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 nuptials
  • We've even heard a rumor of a doggie nuptials ceremony.
  • All things in the house were in a bustle against the approaching nuptials.
  • Thousands of supporters turned out to celebrate the first nuptials.
  • Her toned backside received almost as much attention as the royal nuptials.
  • The anticipation of the upcoming nuptials is overwhelming.
  • But she may have to plan the nuptials around a new job.
  • They have kept details of their upcoming nuptials under wraps.
  • But not all royal nuptials include a commoner bride and an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  • Today's couples are older, more established and more likely to pay for their own nuptials.
  • Gannets form some of the strongest pair-bonding among seabirds, and begin nuptials months before nesting.
British Dictionary definitions for nuptials


/ˈnʌpʃəlz; -tʃəlz/
plural noun
(sometimes sing) a marriage ceremony; wedding


/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 nuptials

"marriage, wedding," 1550s, plural of 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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