en·gage·ment | in-ˈgāj-mənt
The period of time between a proposal and marriage
An engagement is a period between the acceptance of a proposal for marriage and the wedding. The most common symbol of engagement is the engagement ring, but while the period of engagement or betrothal (an engagement arranged by other parties), dates back to the earliest recorded human history, the engagement ring is a unique part of the ritual. Engagement rings were originally given in ancient Rome to represent a contract between two individuals set to be married. The official meaning of the ring was set in 850 AD by Pope Nicholas I who declared it would represent an intention to marry. Diamond engagement rings did not become a part of the tradition until the 15th century and were not common until 1947 when DeBeers launched an advertising campaign touting the stone as the ideal way to propose.