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English definition of “common-law”

common-law

adjective     /ˈkɒm.ən.lɔː/ US  /ˈkɑː.mən.lɑː/
common-law wife/husband someone who is not officially a wife or husband but is considered to be one because she or he has been living with their partner for a long timeMarital status
(Definition of common-law adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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