Wife
Wife Wife, n.; pl. {Wives}. [OE. wif, AS. wif; akin to OFries. & OS. wif, D. wijf, G. weib, OHG. w[=i]b, Icel. v[=i]f, Dan. viv; and perhaps to Skr. vip excited, agitated, inspired, vip to tremble, L. vibrare to vibrate, E. vibrate. Cf. Tacitus, [`` Germania'' 8]: Inesse quin etiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant, nec aut consilia earum aspernantur aut responsa neglegunt. Cf. {Hussy} a jade, {Woman}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A woman; an adult female; -- now used in literature only in certain compounds and phrases, as alewife, fishwife, goodwife, and the like. `` Both men and wives.'' --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster]

On the green he saw sitting a wife. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

2. The lawful consort of a man; a woman who is united to a man in wedlock; a woman who has a husband; a married woman; -- correlative of husband. `` The husband of one wife.'' --1 Tin. iii. 2. [1913 Webster]

Let every one you . . . so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband. --Eph. v. 33. [1913 Webster]

{To give to wife}, {To take to wife}, to give or take (a woman) in marriage.

{Wife's equity} (Law), the equitable right or claim of a married woman to a reasonable and adequate provision, by way of settlement or otherwise, out of her choses in action, or out of any property of hers which is under the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery, for the support of herself and her children. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • wife — W1S1 [waıf] n plural wives [waıvz] [: Old English; Origin: wif woman, wife ] the woman that a man is married to →↑husband, spouse ↑spouse ▪ Have you met my wife? ▪ a refuge for battered wives ▪ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • WIFE — can refer to:* WIFE (AM), a radio station at 1580 AM licensed to Connersville, Indiana * WIFE FM, a radio station at 94.3 FM licensed to Rushville, Indiana * WMOJ FM, an FM radio station formerly known as WIFE FM from 1994 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • wife — [ waıf ] (plural wives [ waıvz ] ) noun count *** the woman that a man is married to: I d better phone my wife and tell her I ll be late. wife of: a reception for the wives of the ambassadors …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • wife — (n.) 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. Du. wijf now means, in slang, girl, babe, having softened somewhat from earlier sense of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • wife — [wīf] n. pl. wives [wīvz] [ME < OE wif, woman, akin to Swed viv, Ger weib < ? IE base * weip , to twist, turn, wrap, in sense “the hidden or veiled person”] 1. a woman: still so used in such compounds as midwife, housewife, etc. 2. a… …   English World dictionary

  • wife — index consort, spouse Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • wife — has the plural form wives …   Modern English usage

  • wife — [n] married woman bride, companion, consort, helpmate, mate, monogamist, other half*, partner, roommate, spouse; concepts 414,415 Ant. husband …   New thesaurus

  • wife — ► NOUN (pl. wives) 1) a married woman considered in relation to her husband. 2) archaic or dialect a woman, especially an old or uneducated one. DERIVATIVES wifely adjective. ORIGIN Old English, «woman» …   English terms dictionary

  • wife — 1. (wife) (1971↑, 253↓) 1. The Good Part The woman you marry and live with for the rest of your life. 2. The Bad Part The woman you marry and live with for the rest of your life. My wife s an angel! You re lucky. Mine s still alive. Author:… …   Urban English dictionary

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