\ 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

Several satirise Malaysia’s disgraced former prime minister, Najib Razak, who was booted from office more than a year ago, along with his big-haired wife, Rosmah Mansor. The Economist, "Malaysia’s callow government has not kept its vows on civil liberties," 19 July 2019 The Thursday event will be held at the Los Angeles home of Sony Motion Picture Group Chairman Tom Rothman and his wife, actress Jessica Harper. Los Angeles Times, "Why pick just one? Hollywood donors fund numerous Democrats in bid to beat Trump," 18 July 2019 Nixon and his wife, Pat, were in a wonderful mood on the eve of the splashdown, and San Franciscans reciprocated. Peter Hartlaub, SFChronicle.com, "Apollo 11 moon landing inspired celebrations, strife-free days in San Francisco," 18 July 2019 Around this time, Daniels was planning to talk to Good Morning America and Slate about her alleged relationship with Trump in 2006, the same year that his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "FBI tied Donald Trump and top aides to 2016 effort to silence a porn star, new court files show," 18 July 2019 The former Anna Pergantis, the daughter of Nick Pergantis and his wife, Athena Pergantis, Greek immigrants, was born in Erie, Pa., and moved with her parents in 1927 to Baltimore. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "Anna P. Alexis, homemaker and beloved substitute teacher, dies," 18 July 2019 Bowler's wife, Elizabeth, is a former Eastern Michigan volleyball player. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UW-Milwaukee adds assistant John Bowler to the men's basketball staff," 17 July 2019 The husbands, Robert Rogers and Richard Fasano, would exchange small talk while their wives, Deborah Rogers and Donna Fasano, were being treated for ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval. Dov Fox, WIRED, "What Happens When Reproductive Tech Like IVF Goes Awry?," 17 July 2019 Pak attended Wednesday’s meeting with wife, Michelle, and daughters, 13-year-old Victoria Grace and Elizabeth Love, 10. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Saugus Union administrator Cory Pak replaces Karen Hurley at Palm Crest Elementary," 17 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

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

What made you want to look up wife? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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