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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

-wife

1.
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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Examples from the web 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 is survived by his second wife eileen and three children, two from his first marriage.
  • He was buried nine feet deep so that his second wife could be buried with him.
  • Admiral gravely had three children, and was survived by his wife, alma.
  • Beside this, he was convinced that his wife had a telepathic connection to him.
  • This gave her confidence and the experience to be the perfect political wife.
  • In this way it could be said she was the first political wife in britain.
  • Again, the children of the new wife were legitimate and lawful heirs.
British Dictionary definitions for 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 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 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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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 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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10
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