(Latin: betrothed man, groom; betrothed woman, bride; both come from sponsus, past participle of spondere, "to promise, betroth" from Old French, espous [masculine, male]; espouse [feminine, female])

espousal (s) (noun), espousals (pl)
1. The act or fact of being engaged and promising to marry: The espousal of Mary's uncle Jason, and his long-time friend, Leah, was announced in the local paper on the weekend.
2. A support expressed in favor of an idea or an action regarding a proposal of something: Jim's espousal was to keep his old car because it was still performing very well and so he decided not to waste so much money to buy a new one.
espouse (verb), espouses; espoused; espousing
1. To indicate support for a cause, a belief, an objective, etc.: The country's president was espousing a less expensive financial budget for the coming year.

The computer programmer espoused an easy way to utilize the functions of the new web site.

2. To unite in marriage or to become married: George has espoused Marge as his wife.
To support or to advocate an idea or a cause.
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To defend a doctrine or a belief.
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espoused (adjective), more espoused, most espoused
Descriptive of something that is being advocated, encouraged, or adopted: Alison was enthusiastic about the espoused notion that speed limits should be reduced in residential areas of her city.
espouser (s) (noun), espousers (pl)
Someone who advocates or supports beliefs or procedures: The owner of the company Joyce is working for is an espouser of equal pay for both women and men.

Quite often, an espouser is someone who "marries" an idea, or principle, and embraces it as his or her own.

There are also espousers who join others in conservation or other environmental causes which need attention for better living conditions for humans and other creatures.

spouse (s) (noun), spouses (pl)
Etymology: from about 1200, "a married woman in relation to her husband" (also of men), from Old French spus; feminine spuse, from Latin sponsus, "bridegroom"; feminine sponsa, "bride"; from masculine and feminine spondere, "to bind oneself, to promise solemnly".
spouseless (adjective) (no comparative)
unespoused (adjective) (no comparative)
A reference to being unmarried.
This spous- unit is directly related to the spond-, spons- unit.