\ ˈwīf How to pronounce wife (audio) \
plural wives\ ˈwīvz How to pronounce wives (audio) \

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 How to pronounce wifehood (audio) , ˈwī-​ˌfu̇d \ noun
wifeless \ ˈwī-​fləs How to pronounce wifeless (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for wife


helpmate, helpmeet, lady, little woman, madam, missus (or missis), Mrs., old lady, wifey, woman [chiefly dialect]

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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

Most rulers’ wives in the Gulf are never photographed and their faces and names aren’t known to the public. Washington Post, "Dubai’s ruler, estranged wife headed for court clash in UK," 5 July 2019 The restaurant is the second from husband-and-wife owners Joshua Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri, the team behind Juliet in Somerville, which was named one of the 50 best new restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit in 2016. Chris Morris, BostonGlobe.com, "Wachusett Brewing Co. comes to Cambridge, and Peregrine serves up the flavors of Italian islands," 4 July 2019 Upset by the move, Woesle’s wife, Elisabeth quit her job as the restaurant’s longtime pastry chef. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New chef steers Rancho Santa Fe’s venerable Mille Fleurs in a fresh direction," 4 July 2019 No one was killed in the first attacks, but a senator's wife was badly burned. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "100 years ago, the U.S. prepared for a nationwide anarchist attack," 3 July 2019 Even country singer Kacey Musgraves jumped in the ring by liking the Instagram post by Braun's wife. cleveland.com, "What’s next with Taylor Swift’s music catalog?," 3 July 2019 He is flanked by a wife who preceded him in death, and by Eva, who died of tuberculosis barely in her twenties, two years after her father passed on. Matthew Farwell, The New Republic, "America’s Once and Future Concentration Camp," 3 July 2019 Yael Cohen Braun Scooter Braun’s wife stood up for him in a long Instagram post of her own. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun: Who's on whose side?," 3 July 2019 Other VIPs with family ties to the launch included the Apollo 11 commander’s wife, Jan Armstrong and sons Ricky and Mark. Roger Simmons, orlandosentinel.com, "Apollo 11 launch VIPs included LBJ, Charles Lindbergh, Johnny Carson and thousands more," 2 July 2019

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

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for wife

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

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More Definitions for wife



English Language Learners Definition of wife

: a married woman : the woman someone is married to


\ ˈwīf How to pronounce wife (audio) \
plural wives\ ˈwīvz \

Kids Definition of wife

: a married woman

Other Words from wife

wifely adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on wife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wife

Spanish Central: Translation of wife

Nglish: Translation of wife for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wife for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wife

Comments on wife

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