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wife

[wahyf] /waɪf/
noun, plural wives
[wahyvz] /waɪvz/ (Show IPA)
1.
a married woman, especially when considered in relation to her partner in marriage.
2.
a woman (archaic or dial., except in idioms):
old wives' tale.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object), wifed, wifing.
3.
Rare. wive.
Idioms
4.
take to wife, to marry (a particular woman):
He took an heiress to wife.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English, Old English wīf woman; cognate with Dutch wijf, German Weib, Old Norse vīf
Related forms
wifedom, noun
wifeless, adjective
wifelessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for take to wife

wife

/waɪf/
noun (pl) wives (waɪvz)
1.
a man's partner in marriage; a married woman related adjective uxorial
2.
an archaic or dialect word for woman
3.
take to wife, to marry (a woman)
Derived Forms
wifehood, noun
wifeless, adjective
wifelike, adjective
wifeliness, noun
wifely, adjective
Word Origin
Old English wīf; related to Old Norse vīf (perhaps from vīfathr veiled), Old High German wīb (German Weib)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for take to wife

wife

n.

Old English wif "woman," from Proto-Germanic *wiban (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian wif, Old Norse vif, Danish and Swedish viv, Middle Dutch, Dutch wijf, Old High German wib, German Weib), of uncertain origin. Dutch wijf now means, in slang, "girl, babe," having softened somewhat from earlier sense of "bitch."

Some proposed PIE roots include *weip- "to twist, turn, wrap," perhaps with sense of "veiled person" (see vibrate); or *ghwibh-, a proposed root meaning "shame," also "pudenda," but the only examples of it are wife and Tocharian (a lost IE language of central Asia) kwipe, kip "female pudenda."

The modern sense of "female spouse" began as a specialized sense in Old English; the general sense of "woman" is preserved in midwife, old wives' tale, etc. Middle English sense of "mistress of a household" survives in housewife; and later restricted sense of "tradeswoman of humble rank" in fishwife. Wife-swapping is attested from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for take to wife

wife

noun
  1. A member of a pimp's group of prostitutes: She is his favorite ''wife'' at the moment (1900+ Prostitutes)
  2. The more passive of a homosexual couple (1883+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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take to wife in the Bible

The ordinance of marriage was sanctioned in Paradise (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). Monogamy was the original law under which man lived, but polygamy early commenced (Gen. 4:19), and continued to prevail all down through Jewish history. The law of Moses regulated but did not prohibit polygamy. A man might have a plurality of wives, but a wife could have only one husband. A wife's legal rights (Ex. 21:10) and her duties (Prov. 31:10-31; 1 Tim. 5:14) are specified. She could be divorced in special cases (Deut. 22:13-21), but could not divorce her husband. Divorce was restricted by our Lord to the single case of adultery (Matt. 19:3-9). The duties of husbands and wives in their relations to each other are distinctly set forth in the New Testament (1 Cor. 7:2-5; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with take to wife

wife

see under wives
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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