When someone says it's their parents' anniversary, does "anniversary" by default mean wedding anniversary, or do English speakers by default consider "anniversary" vague, requiring clarification like marriage, first-date, etc?

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    Unless anniversary is followed by of [something] or its meaning is clear from context, it is assumed to refer to a wedding anniversary. – Jason Bassford Nov 21 '18 at 21:35
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    @Jason Bassford Not all parents these days are married. Indeed some remain unmarried for ideological reasons. However, some who are unmarried but happily remain together bringing up their children, will celebrate a particular day in the year as "their day". This could be tied perhaps to their first date, or their having begun living together. Schoolteachers and others who have contact with children should never make assumptions about family circumstances, and if a child speaks about their parents' "anniversary" not ask further questions. – WS2 Nov 21 '18 at 21:44

Unqualified, "my parents' anniversary" would most likely mean either a wedding anniversary, or the anniversary of some significant event that the parents treat like a wedding anniversary.

It may be risky to deduce that the parents are legally married (it may just be their special day), but it is reasonable to think the date may be marked by, for example, exchanging gifts or going out for a meal together.

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