1. A man or woman engaged or joined in wedlock; a married person, husband or wife. "At last such grace I found, and means I wrought, That that lady to my spouse had won." (Spenser)

2. A married man, in distinct from a spousess or married woman; a bridegroom or husband. "At which marriage was [were] no person present but the spouse, the spousess, the Duchess of Bedford her mother, the priest, two gentlewomen, and a young man." (Fabyan)

Origin: OF. Espous, espos, fem. Espouse, F. Epoux, epouse, fr. L. Sponsus, sponsa, prop. P.p. Of spondere, sponsum, to promise solemnly, to engage one's self. Cf. Despond, Espouse, respond, Sponsor.

(01 Mar 1998)