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an open marriage

A marriage between two people who do not object to each other continuing to have other sexual or romantic partners. A: "Lila has a new boyfriend? I thought she was married to Chad." B: "Oh, they have an open marriage." Don't worry, I still date other people—my wife and I have an open marriage. I get jealous very easily, so an open marriage would not work for me!
See also: an, marriage, open

dream of a funeral and you hear of a marriage

proverb When you dream that someone has died, it is often followed by the news that they are getting married. A: "Did you hear that Bill is getting married?" B: "Wow, I just recently dreamed that he had died! It really is true that you dream of a funeral and you hear of a marriage."
See also: and, dream, funeral, hear, marriage, of

left-handed marriage

1. A marriage in which a person of royal or noble birth marries a person of a lower social class, thereby foregoing the latter's ability to inherit the title or estate of the former. More technically known as a "morganatic marriage." The idea of a left-handed marriage leaving the small monarchy without a true queen rankled many people both in and out of the court.
2. An adulterous relationship. The former governor had been predicted to win the presidential election in a landslide, until the details of his left-handed marriage became public knowledge and he started tanking in the polls.
See also: marriage

marriage inequality

A term applied to same-sex couples that are not able to have their relationship legally recognized (such as by marriage). I hate that my sister is subject to marriage inequality just because she is in a relationship with a woman.
See also: marriage

marriage made in heaven

A very happy marriage or partnership. Cindy and Mark look so happy together. That's a marriage made in heaven. Merging our bakery with the ice cream parlor next door was a great idea—it's a marriage made in heaven.
See also: heaven, made, marriage

marriage music

obsolete Children's screams and cries. That cacophony of sounds that are now keeping you up all night, why that's simply marriage music, my dear. You had better get used to it.
See also: marriage, music

marriage of convenience

A legal marriage that happens primarily or solely for practical purposes, rather than love. Any couple suspected of entering into a marriage of convenience to bypass the need for work permits may be investigated and have their marriage license revoked at any time. Back when homosexuality was illegal, many gay men and women entered into marriages of convenience to protect them from public scrutiny.
See also: convenience, marriage, of

marriages are made in heaven

proverb It is a divine power that ultimately plans or decides who should marry whom, outside of the control of the people in the marriage. My grandmother, a devout Catholic, still believes that marriages are made in heaven, so she was disgusted with me when I divorced my wife for her adultery. We were sweethearts when we were kids, then we didn't see each other again for nearly 40 years. Then, all of a sudden, we met, fell in love, got married, and are living an extraordinarily happy life together—marriages, it seems, are in fact made in heaven.
See also: heaven, made, marriage

save (oneself) for marriage

To abstain from engaging in sexual intercourse or activity until one is married. I was worried he wouldn't want to keep seeing me once he found out I was saving myself for marriage, but he was incredibly understanding about it. Some people made fun of me for it, but I'm glad I saved myself for marriage.
See also: for, marriage, save

sham marriage

A legal marriage that happens primarily or solely for practical purposes, rather than love. Any couple suspected of entering into a sham marriage to bypass the need for work permits may be investigated and have their marriage license revoked at any time. Back when homosexuality was illegal, many gay men and women entered into sham marriages to protect them from public scrutiny.
See also: marriage, sham

shotgun marriage

A marriage that happens quickly due to an unplanned pregnancy. We knew it was a shotgun marriage when Frank's new wife had a baby five months after the wedding.
See also: marriage, shotgun

traditional marriage

1. A term for marriage between a man and a woman, typically used by those who consider the marriage of a same-sex couple to not be legitimate. Of course I value traditional marriage, but I don't understand why same-sex marriage can't be legal as well.
2. A marriage featuring the traditional customs of a particular group or society. In this country, a traditional marriage is celebrated with a lengthy religious ceremony attended by the entire town.
See also: marriage

white marriage

A marriage that has not been consummated. Translated literally from the more common French term mariage blanc. Due to my husband's serious illness, we have had to have a white marriage. We entered into a white marriage in order to get Tom a visa to remain in the country.
See also: marriage, white
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Dream of a funeral and you hear of a marriage.

 and Dream of a funeral and you hear of a wedding.
Prov. If you dream that a person has died, you will learn that person is to be married. Alan: I had a dream last night that my sister was killed. Jane: Dream of a funeral and you hear of a marriage.
See also: and, dream, funeral, hear, marriage, of

a marriage made in heaven

 and a match made in heaven
a happy or harmonious marriage or partnership. (See also .) The partnership of George and Ira Gershwin was a match made in heaven; they wrote such beautiful songs.
See also: heaven, made, marriage

Marriages are made in heaven.

Prov. You cannot foretell who will marry whom.; Two people may love each other very much but may end up not marrying each other, and two people who do not even know each other may marry each other in the end. Tom and Eliza were childhood sweethearts, had a happy family, and now are celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Marriages are made in heaven.
See also: heaven, made, Marriage
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

marriage of convenience

a marriage concluded to achieve a practical purpose.
This expression was used by Joseph Addison in the early 18th century, translating the French mariage de convenance , which has itself been current in English since the mid 19th century.
1949 George Bernard Shaw Buoyant Billions The proportion of happy love marriages to happy marriages of convenience has never been counted.
See also: convenience, marriage, of
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˌmarriage/ˌmatch made in ˈheaven

a combination of two people or things which seems perfect: When she married Dave, everyone thought that theirs was a match made in heaven.A merger between the two leading mobile phone networks would appear to be a marriage made in heaven, but will consumers lose out?
See also: heaven, made, marriage, match

a ˌshotgun ˈwedding/ˈmarriage

(old-fashioned, informal) a marriage which takes place because the woman is pregnant
This expression probably refers to the father of a woman, who threatens to shoot the man unless he marries her.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

marriage made in heaven, a

A match decreed by destiny; a very successful pairing. Already a well-known adage by the mid-sixteenth century, this term was quoted many times over and appeared in numerous proverb collections. It was often used sarcastically but was largely confined to actual matrimony until the twentieth century, when it began to be applied to other kinds of match— as, for example, a merger of two business corporations.
See also: made, marriage
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Marriage they call it all; and they say their marriages are made in heaven.
"The landlady and the waiter might make it out to be a marriage, then?" he said.
If the purpose of marriage is the family, the person who wishes to have many wives or husbands may perhaps obtain much pleasure, but in that case will not have a family.
She celebrated the anniversary of her marriage by giving her husband a portrait he had long desired,--that of his Ginevra, painted by herself.
"But in the ordinary marriage, is it necessary to give way to one's husband?" said Katharine, taking no notice of her mother's suggestion, blind even to the depression which had now taken possession of her at the thought of her own inevitable death.
That no doubt is the real reason for the growth of quiet marriages; and the desire for them, I suspect, comes first from the man, for there are few women who at heart do not prefer the old histrionic display.
Left together, Hardyman and Miss Pink devised an arrangement which paid due respect to Isabel's scruples, and at the same time met Lady Lydiard's insulting assertion of disbelief in Hardyman's honor, by a formal and public announcement of the marriage.
But no further reference to the marriage would pass her lips, and without an other word she abruptly left the room.
The marriage engagement was ratified--most reluctantly on the lady's side--and there the further progress of Horace Holmcroft's suit came to an end.
Fogg, as tranquil and phlegmatic as ever, said to Aouda: "Is our marriage still agreeable to you?"
Of course this marriage will not bring me paradise, but what else does there remain, my friend--what else does there remain?
The marriage of a daughter, which had been the first object of her wishes since Jane was sixteen, was now on the point of accomplishment, and her thoughts and her words ran wholly on those attendants of elegant nuptials, fine muslins, new carriages, and servants.
The means by which their early marriage was effected can be the only doubt: what probable circumstance could work upon a temper like the general's?
You know perfectly well that the mere idea of marriage has always scared you.
He proposed marriage to her for the second time--and (after having being accepted) he consented, at her request, to consider the marriage as broken off.