\ ˈwīf How to pronounce wife (audio) \
plural wives\ ˈwīvz How to pronounce wife (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 wife (audio) , ˈwī-​ˌfu̇d \ noun
wifeless \ ˈwī-​fləs How to pronounce wife (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for wife


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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 The organization later settled with the city, agreeing to drop the lawsuit in exchange for taking possession of the statues and the remains of Forrest and his wife. BostonGlobe.com, 5 June 2021 There have been some other times when my wife and I worked with an elderly person. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 5 June 2021 Marcelo, who is the main provider for his wife and two young children, one of whom has autism, is the executive pastor for Spanish services at The Experience Church in Glendale along with Cintia. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2021 Neither my wife nor I recognized the names or the photograph. Washington Post, 5 June 2021 Writing out a schedule helps Steve, 66, ease feelings of anxiety for his wife Marilynn, 82, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease seven years ago. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 June 2021 This dramedy follows a father who must raise his baby girl as a single parent after his wife unexpectedly dies. Travis Bean, Forbes, 5 June 2021 Gates and his wife spent billions to eradicate malaria and tuberculosis, end poverty, promote gender equality, and ensure environmental sustainability. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 4 June 2021 Gilbert and his wife Ginger have been Florida residents for the past 46 years. Mort Mazor, sun-sentinel.com, 4 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for wife

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for wife

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wife.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wife. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 female partner in a marriage

Other Words from wife

wifely adjective


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