• WordNet 3.6
    • n concubinage cohabitation without being legally married
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Concubinage (Law) A plea, in which it is alleged that the woman suing for dower was not lawfully married to the man in whose lands she seeks to be endowed, but that she was his concubine.
    • Concubinage The cohabiting of a man and a woman who are not legally married; the state of being a concubine.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n concubinage The act or practice of cohabiting without a legal marriage. In law it is a valid ground of objection against the granting of dower to a woman who has been a concubine, but is suing for dower as wife.
    • n concubinage The state of being a concubine.
    • n concubinage In Rom, law [concubinatus], a permanent cohabitation, recognized by the law, between persons to whose marriage there were no legal obstacles. It was distinguished from marriage proper (matrimonium) by the absence of “marital affection”—that is, the intention of founding a family. As no forms were prescribed in the later times either for legal marriage or concubinage, the question whether the parties intended to enter into the former or into the latter relation was often one of fact to be determined from the surrounding circumstances, and especially with reference to a greater or less difference of rank between them.
    • n concubinage A natural marriage, as contradistinguished from a civil marriage.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Concubinage state of living together as man and wife without being married
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  • Francis Picabia
    “God invented concubinage, Satan marriage.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. concubinacon, together, cubāre, to lie down.


In literature:

Such a marriage was, indeed, nothing but a form of concubinage.
"Museum of Antiquity" by L. W. Yaggy
In Europe, similar conditions prevailed, and although monogamy was the rule, concubinage and prostitution in all its forms existed.
"Sex=The Unknown Quantity" by Ali Nomad
Venal concubinage occupies an intermediate position between prostitution and concubinage.
"The Sexual Question" by August Forel
By a mere stroke of the pen you have emancipated millions from a condition of wholesale concubinage.
"The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2)" by Ida Husted Harper
Under such rule, polygamy, concubinage, and adultery are not tolerated.
"The Ethnology of the British Colonies and Dependencies" by Robert Gordon Latham
Among the best of the pagan Romans, concubinage was looked upon as a defensible institution.
"Roman Women" by Alfred Brittain
Universal concubinage and prostitution, which must not immediately be put an end to!
"Discussion on American Slavery" by George Thompson
It is remarkable that the professional concubinage of the dancing-girl does not involve degradation, if it be with a person of the same caste.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 4" by Various
Concubinage is the natural result of the Confucian theory of ancestral worship.
"Village Life in China" by Arthur H. Smith
Concubinage was a common practice: a mulatto was worth more in cash than a black man.
"Following the Color Line" by Ray Stannard Baker