\ˈwīf \
plural wives\ˈwīvz \

Definition of wife 

1a dialect : woman

b : a woman acting in a specified capacity used in combination fishwife

2 : a female partner in a marriage

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Other Words from wife

wifehood \ˈwīf-ˌhu̇d, ˈwī-ˌfu̇d \ noun
wifeless \ˈwī-fləs \ adjective

Synonyms for wife


lady, madam, missus (or missis), Mrs., old lady

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Examples of wife in a Sentence

We met him and his wife. a husband and wife who treat each other as equals in their marriage

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2014, husband-and-wife attackers killed two Las Vegas police officers before going into a nearby Walmart and firing a shot in the air. Frances Stead Sellers, Washington Post, "Two Oklahoma citizens killed an active shooter, and it's not as simple as it sounds," 13 July 2018 Skyscraper’ Photo: Legendary Pictures Productions, LLC, and Universal Pictures There’s a nice symmetry to the narrative structure—husband and wife help save each other, and their young son and daughter, whether the parents are in or out of extremis. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Skyscraper’ Review: Outsize Building, Outlandish Fun," 12 July 2018 The actress starred for six seasons on FX’s 1980s-set The Americans, with the drama centering on a husband and wife who are Russian sleeper agents in the U.S. The role earned her two Emmy nominations. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Keri Russell in Talks to Star in Guillermo del Toro-Produced Thriller 'Antlers' (Exclusive)," 11 July 2018 One week after firefighters found the bodies of a husband and wife inside their burning northwest Atlanta home, authorities have positively identified the man. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Officials ID man found strangled inside burning northwest Atlanta home," 11 July 2018 The husband and wife went home Monday night and opened their front door. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Masked robbers terrorize couple in home-invasion robbery," 11 July 2018 Artists and husband-and-wife-proprietors Oliver and Grace Estrada are also beyond excited about their weeks-old Scout West County. SFChronicle.com, "25 ways to chase your perfect Bay Area summer," 11 July 2018 Bottoms up: Jaime Turrey and Brooke Fruchtman, the husband-and-wife owners of Ostrich Farm restaurant in Echo Park, have opened Bar Caló, a bar and restaurant on Sunset Boulevard across the street from Ostrich Farm. Jenn Harris, latimes.com, "Century City is about to get some serious fried chicken," 10 July 2018 The husband and wife were sent to a local hospital, where the husband died from his injuries, Royal Caribbean Cruises spokesperson Owen Torres told USA TODAY. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Honeymooning couple fatally collides on zipline in Honduras," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wife.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of wife

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for wife

Middle English wif, from Old English wīf; akin to Old High German wīb wife and probably to Tocharian B kwīpe female pudenda

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Statistics for wife

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for wife

The first known use of wife was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of wife

: a married woman : the woman someone is married to


\ˈwīf \
plural wives\ˈwīvz \

Kids Definition of wife

: a married woman

Other Words from wife

wifely adjective

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Comments on wife

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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