/bi troh"dheuhl, -traw"theuhl/, n.
the act or state of being betrothed; engagement.
Also, betrothment.
[1835-45; BETROTH + -AL2]

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▪ marriage custom
      promise that a marriage will take place. In societies in which premarital sexual relations are condoned or in which consensual union is common, betrothal may be unimportant. In other societies, however, betrothal is a formal part of the marriage process. In such cases a change of intention by one of the parties is a serious matter and may be referred to as a breach of promise, a civil transgression subject in some instances to a fine or other penalty.

      Marriage has historically been so frequently a matter of alliance between kin (kinship) groups that mate selection has been removed from the hands of the participants and negotiated by important or assigned representatives of each group. In many, but by no means all, such cases, betrothal has been marked by various forms and degrees of mutual visits and gift exchange between the two families. Sometimes, especially when two potentially hostile groups are concerned, child betrothal may be adopted to ensure continuing social, economic, or political harmony.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Betrothal — • In the Catholic Church, a deliberate and free, mutual, true promise, externally expressed, of future marriage between determinate and fit persons Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Betrothal     Betrothal …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Betrothal — is a formal state of engagement to be married. Historically betrothal was a formal contract, blessed or officiated by a religious authority. Betrothal is no longer common beyond some Arab cultures, in Judaism and in Islam. In Jewish weddings the… …   Wikipedia

  • Betrothal — Be*troth al, n. The act of betrothing, or the fact of being betrothed; a mutual promise, engagement, or contract for a future marriage between the persons betrothed; betrothment; affiance. The feast of betrothal. Longfellow. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • BETROTHAL — (Heb. שִׁדּוּכִין, shiddukhin). Definition In Jewish law shiddukhin is defined as the mutual promise between a man and a woman to contract a marriage at some future time and the formulations of the terms (tena im, see below) on which it shall… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • betrothal — (n.) 1844, from BETROTH (Cf. betroth) + AL (Cf. al) (2). Earlier in same sense were betrothment (1580s), betrothing (14c.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • betrothal — [n] marriage affiancing, betrothing, engagement, espousal, plight, promise, troth, vow; concept 297 Ant. divorce, separation …   New thesaurus

  • betrothal — [bē trôth′əl, bē trōth′əl, bi trôth′əl, bi trōth′əl] n. a betrothing or being betrothed; mutual pledge to marry; engagement …   English World dictionary

  • betrothal — n. 1) to announce a betrothal 2) a betrothal to * * * [bɪ trəʊð(ə)l] a betrothal to to announce a betrothal …   Combinatory dictionary

  • betrothal — The first stage, usually at a young age, of the nuptial event: Gen. describes the betrothal and marriage of Rebecca and Rachel; the women were transposed from the custody of the father to a husband chattels at the disposal of men. And a wedding… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • betrothal — UK [bɪˈtrəʊð(ə)l] / US [bɪˈtroʊð(ə)l] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms betrothal : singular betrothal plural betrothals an old word meaning engagement to get married …   English dictionary

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