from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A legally sanctioned relationship between two people, especially of the same sex, having many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A legal union similar to marriage, established to allow similar rights to same-sex couples, and in some jurisdictions opposite-sex couples, as partners in traditional marriages have.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a voluntary union for life (or until divorce) of adult parties of the same sex


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word civil union.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.