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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb espouse:

Video footage: 1960s: Business owners in Miami, Florida, Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona espouse the virtues of their mentally retarded trainees, in 1966.
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Definition of the verb espouse

What does espouse mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: espoused | espousing | espouses

  1. choose and follow; as of theories, ideas, policies, strategies or plans
    • example: The candidate espouses Republican ideals
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonyms of espouse: adopt / follow
    • more generic terms: choose / pick out / select / take = pick out, select, or choose from a number of alternatives
    • more specific words: adhere / stick = be a devoted follower or supporter
  2. take in marriage
  3. take up the cause, ideology, practice, method, of someone and use it as one's own

Alternative definition of the verb espouse


  1. [transitive] To become/get married to.
  2. [transitive] To accept, support, or take on as one’s own (an idea or a cause).

Definition of the verb espouse for high school students

    to take up as a cause, support
    • example: I love animals so much that I espouse animal rights.

The verb espouse is considered to be a word that all college-aspiring students should know and understand, so it frequently appears on the SAT, ACT and other college admissions tests.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for espouse

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Google previewAuthority Robbers and Wasted Words

For example, the word espouse means to give one's loyalty or support to someone or something.

Google previewThe International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (2015)

by Orr, James

ESPOUSE. es-pouz ́al, es-pouz ́: In the King James Version these words, following English usage of an earlier day, are used to signify either marriage or betrothal, while the American Standard Revised Version discriminates, and uses them ...

Google previewThe Concise Dictionary of English Etymology (1993)

by Walter W. Skeat, Walter William Skeat

espouse. ( F. - L.) O. F. ttfemttr, to espouse, wed. — O. F. ttpotut, a spouse. — L. spoma, a betrothed woman ; cf. sponsus, A betrothed man. — L. sponsits, pp. of spon- dcre, to promise. respond. (F.-L.) ...

Google previewOxford English Mini Dictionary (2013)

by Charlotte Buxton

espouse v. support or adopt a cause orway of life. espousal n. espresso n. ( pl. espressos) strong black coffee made by forcV ing steam through ground coffee. esprit de corps n. pride and loyalty uniting a group. espy v. (espying, espied) ...

Google previewEaston's Bible Dictionary and King James Bible (2017)

by Matthew George Easton

Espouse. Easton's. (Ss 3:14;), to BETROTH e. The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage e. Espousals are in the Easte frequently contracted ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Metropolitana, Or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge (1845)

Comprising the Twofold Advantage of a Philosophical and an Alphabetical Arrangement, with Appropriate Engravings by Edward Smedley, Hugh James Rose, Henry John Rose

But wondrous strange, that any difference, Especially of such a deadly nature, ESPOUSE. Should e'er divide so eminent a friendship. Massinger. 7'lie Parliament of Love, fol. 307. Your precious diamond in especialness. Lot. Blisse of Brightest ...

Google previewAn Etymological Dictionary of Modern English (1967)

by Ernest Weekley

espouse, spouse, esquire, squire, atc. The prefixing of e- to initial sc-, sp-, st- is regular in OF.

Google previewThe Imperial Dictionary (1863)

English, Technological, and Scientific by John Ogilvie

[See EsPouse..] Used in or relating to the act of espousing or betrothing. ESPOUS'AL, n. The act of espousing or betrothing.—2. Adoption; protection. SPOUS'ALS, n. plur. The act of contracting or affiancing a man and woman to each other; ...

Google previewThe Ultimate Bible Dictionary (Annotated Edition) (2012)

by Matthew George Easton

Espouse. (2 Sam. 3:14), to betroth. The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage. Espousals are in the East frequently contracted years before ...

Google previewAn universal etymological English dictionary (1724)

by Nathan Bailey

ESPOUSE,. [ispoufer,. F.] to. be-. trothj take in Marriage, to wed □• To adhere to, or embrace a Cause, Opinion, or Party. ESPRINGOLD, a Warlike Engine for the casting great Stones. _ To ESPY, Fryer, F.] to perceive or discover, to observe or ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for espouse

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Photos about espouse

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Video language resources about espouse

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Quotes about espouse

The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black man's right to his body, or woman's right to her soul. (Emma Goldman)
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Scrabble value of E1S1P3O1U1S1E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 9 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of ESPOUSE

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