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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Espouse \Es*pouse"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Espoused; p. pr. & vb. n. Espousing.] [OF. espouser, esposer, F. ['e]pouser, L. sponsare to betroth, espouse, fr. sponsus betrothed, p. p. of spondere to promise solemnly or sacredly. Cf. Spouse.] 1. To betroth; to promise in marriage; to give as spouse. [1913 Webster] A virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph. --Luke i. 27. [1913 Webster] 2. To take as spouse; to take to wife; to marry. [1913 Webster] Lavinia will I make my empress, . . . And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. To take to one's self with a view to maintain; to make one's own; to take up the cause of; to adopt; to embrace. "He espoused that quarrel." --Bacon. [1913 Webster] Promised faithfully to espouse his cause as soon as he got out of the war. --Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster]