- Designating a marriage (or the wife involved) between a man of higher rank and a woman of lower rank, often having various legal repercussions.
Etymology: From French morganatique or German morganatisch, or from their source, mediíval Latin morganaticus, as used in the phrase matrimonium ad morganaticam, in which the last word is probably from a Germanic word (cognate with Old English morgengifu, morgenÄifu) which signified a "morning-gift" (the gift a husband gives to his wife after consummation relieving him of further liability).
- 1922: we have this day repudiated our former spouse and have bestowed our royal hand upon the princess Selene, the splendour of the night. (The former morganatic spouse of Bloom is hastily removed in the Black Maria.) " James Joyce, Ulysses
- 1942: Because of her noble birth, she bitterly resented her position as a wife. " Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Canongate 2006, p. 346)
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Full Definition of morganatic