common-law adjective - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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common-law

adjective uk   /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 time
(Definition of common-law adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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