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morganatic


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Of or denoting a marriage in which neither the spouse of lower rank, nor any children, have any claim to the possessions or title of the spouse of higher rank.

Recorded from the early 18th century, the word comes from modern Latin morganaticus, from medieval Latin matrimonium ad morganaticum ‘marriage with a morning gift’, because a morning gift, given by a husband to his wife on the morning after the marriage, was the wife's sole entitlement in a marriage of this kind. Also called left-handed marriage (see left1).


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