1. The ceremony, or the state, of marriage; matrimony. "That blissful yoke . . . That men clepeth [call] spousal, or wedlock." "For what is wedlock forced but a hell, An age of discord or continual strife?" (Shak)

2. A wife; a married woman.

Synonyms: See Marriage.

Origin: AS. Wedlac a pledge, be trothal; wedd a pledge + lac a gift, an offering. See Wed, and cf. Lake, Knowledge.

(01 Mar 1998)

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