Wife definition

wīf
Frequency:
A woman joined to another person in marriage; a female spouse.
noun
23
9
A woman.
noun
17
6
The definition of a wife is a woman who is married.

The woman you are married to is an example of your wife.

noun
10
3
A married woman, especially in relation to her spouse.

My wife and I have decided to have a baby.

noun
5
2
A woman with reference to the person to whom she is married.
noun
4
1
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Any married woman.
noun
1
0
The female of a pair of mated animals.

A new wife for the gander is introduced into the pen.

noun
1
3
take to wife
  • to marry (a specified woman)
idiom
1
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
wife
Plural:
wives

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of wife

  • Middle English wif woman, wife from Old English wīf

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English wif, wiif, wyf, from Old English wÄ«f (“woman, female, lady, wife"), from Proto-Germanic *wÄ«bÄ… (“woman, wife"), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gʰʷí₂bÊ°- (“shame, pudenda") (compare Tocharian A/B kip/kwÄ«pe (“shame, genitals, female pudenda")). Cognate with Scots wife (“wife"), West Frisian wiif (“wife, woman"), North Frisian wüf (“wife, woman"), Dutch wijf (“woman, female"), Low German Wief (“woman, female"), German Weib (“woman, wife, female"), Danish viv (“woman"), Swedish viv (“woman"), Faroese vív (“wife, woman"), Icelandic víf (“woman").

    From Wiktionary