Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Noah Webster's Definition of "Marriage" 1856

From Diane's Antique Book Collection
Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language 1856

Definition of WIFE: The lawful consort of a man; a woman who is united to a man in the lawful bonds of wedlock; the correlative of Husband.

The husband of one wife. – I Tim. iii.

Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and let the wife see that she reverence her husband. – Eph v.

Definition of HUSBAND: 1. A man contracted or joined to a woman by marriage. A man to whom a woman is betrothed, as well as one actually united by marriage, is called a husband. Lev. xix. Deut. xxii.

2. In seamen’s language, the owner of a ship who manages its concerns in person. Mar. Dict.

3. The male of animals of a lower order. Dryden.

4. An economist; a good manager; a man who knows and practices the methods of frugality and profit. In this sense, the word is modified by an epithet; as a good husband; a bad husband. Davies. Collier. (But in America, this application of the word is little or not at all used.)

5. A farmer; a cultivator; a tiller of the ground. Bacon. Dryden. (In this sense it is not used in America; we always use HUSBANDMAN.)

Definition of MARRIAGE: 1. The act of uniting a man and woman for life, wedlock; the legal union of a man and woman for life. Marriage is a contract both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity till death shall separate them. Marriage was instituted by God himself, for the purpose of preventing the promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity, and for securing the maintenance and education of children.  

Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. – Heb. xiii.

2. The feast made on the occasion of a marriage.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. – Matt. xxii.

3. In a scriptural sense, the union between Christ and his church by the covenant of grace. Rev. xix. 

Webster, Noah, AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, Massachusetts, George and Charles Merriam, 1856


Amy Lillard said...

Intersting stuff, Diane. Thanks for sharing! :)

Vickie McDonough said...

Very cool to see how Webster reinforced his definitions with Scripture.

by Pegg Thomas said...

Good stuff!

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Oh, I LOVE this. And people wonder why we'd rather write about days gone by or the 1800's. People, as a whole, had a lot more faith than people today. God, Scripture, and the Bible weren't such "foreign" concepts. :) Thanks for sharing.

JoyAveryMelville said...

This just cements for me, the way GOD intends marriage to be - a man and a woman.
Thank you for sharing this great blog post!

I appreciate historical romance so much - haven't written it myself but LOVE the hard work ethic of those who've gone before us - those who had such a firm belief system AND desire to make marriage work because they vowed to!

Thanks, Diane!

Dorothy Adamek said...

What an interesting post! I think TIffany nailed it with her comments. Like her, I write and read historical romance for the reflection of society with a fabric so closely woven with a fear and knowledge of God, it permeated even the penning of dictionary definitions. Wonderful stuff! Bless you for sharing.

Dotti - new follower from Australia. :)

foxandfinchantiques said...

I find this so fascinating and would like to follow your posts. Is Google the only way to be notified of a post? I can't find a place to put my email address. Thank you.