Pronunciation: (mar'ij), [key]
1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.
4. a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction: trial marriage; homosexual marriage.
5. any close or intimate association or union: the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
6. a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.
7. a blending or matching of different elements or components: The new lipstick is a beautiful marriage of fragrance and texture.
8. Cards.a meld of the king and queen of a suit, as in pinochle. Cf. royal marriage.
9. a piece of antique furniture assembled from components of two or more authentic pieces.
10. Obs.the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.