wife

[wahyf]
noun, plural wives [wahyvz] .
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:
before 900; Middle English, Old English wīf woman; cognate with Dutch wijf, German Weib, Old Norse vīf

wifedom, noun
wifeless, adjective
wifelessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged

-wife

a combining form of wife, now unproductive, occurring in compound words that in general designate traditional roles or occupations of women: fishwife; goodwife; housewife; midwife.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
wife (waɪf)
 
n , pl wives
1.  a man's partner in marriage; a married womanRelated: uxorial
2.  an archaic or dialect word for woman
3.  take to wife to marry (a woman)
 
Related: uxorial
 
[Old English wīf; related to Old Norse vīf (perhaps from vīfathr veiled), Old High German wīb (German Weib)]
 
'wifehood
 
n
 
'wifeless
 
adj
 
'wifelike
 
adj
 
'wifeliness
 
n
 
'wifely
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

wife
O.E. wif "woman," from P.Gmc. *wiban (cf. O.S., O.Fris. wif, O.N. vif, Dan., Swed. viv, M.Du., Du. wijf, O.H.G. wib, Ger. Weib), of uncertain origin. 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 O.E.; the general sense of "woman" is preserved in midwife, old wives' tale, etc. M.E. sense of "mistress of a household" survives in housewife; and later restricted sense of "tradeswoman of humble rank" in fishwife. Du. wijf now means, in slang, "girl, babe," having softened somewhat from earlier sense of "bitch." Wife-swapping is attested from 1959.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

wife definition


  1. n.
    a girlfriend. (Collegiate.) : Me and my wife are going to Fred's this Friday.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Wife definition


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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

wife

see under wives.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for wife
Henry was by no means faithful to his wife and had a reputation for
  philandering.
Aware of the impending conflagration, chamberlain stopped his wife from reading
  on.
He was also still deeply in love with his first wife he would never get over
  her.
He was buried nine feet deep so that his second wife could be buried with him.
Idioms & Phrases
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