Es*pous"al (?), n. [OF. espousailles, pl., F. 'epousailles, L. sponsalia, fr. sponsalis belonging to betrothal or espousal. See Espouse, and cf. Sponsal, Spousal.]
The act of espousing or betrothing; especially, in the plural, betrothal; plighting of the troths; a contract of marriage; sometimes, the marriage ceremony.
The uniting or allying one's self with anything; maintenance; adoption; as, the espousal of a quarrel.
The open espousal of his cause.
© Webster 1913.