|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
To promise "by one's truth." Men and women were betrothed when they were engaged to be married. This usually took place a year or more before marriage. From the time of betrothal the woman was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was betrothed (Deuteronomy 28:30; Judges 14:2, 8; Matthew 1:18-21). The term is figuratively employed of the spiritual connection between God and his people (Hosea 2:19, 20).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (v. t.) To engage or promise in marriage; to affiance; -- used esp. of a woman.
2. (v. t.) To promise to take (as a future spouse); to plight one's troth to.
3. (v. t.) To nominate to a bishopric, in order to consecration.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
be-troth', be-troth' ('dras): On betrothal as a social custom see MARRIAGE. Hosea, in his great parable of the prodigal wife, surpassed only by a greater Teacher's parable of the Prodigal Son, uses betrothal as the symbol of Yahweh's pledge of His love and favor to penitent Israel (Hosea 2:19, 20). In Exodus 21:8, 9 the Revised Version (British and American) renders "espouse" for the "betroth" of the King James Version, the context implying the actual marriage relation.
Betroth (5 Occurrences)
2 Corinthians 11:2 I am jealous over you with God's own jealousy. For I have betrothed you to Christ to present you to Him like a faithful bride to her one husband. (Root in WEY YLT NAS RSV)
Exodus 21:9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. (Root in KJV WBS YLT)
Deuteronomy 28:30 You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shall build a house, and you shall not dwell therein: you shall plant a vineyard, and shall not use its fruit. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Hosea 2:19 I will betroth you to me forever. Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in loving kindness, and in compassion. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Hosea 2:20 I will even betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)