\ 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

Bryant Estate, whose Pritchard Hill Cab sells for $550 a bottle, has always been one of Napa Valley’s most revered and secretive wineries, owned by heavy-hitter art collector Don Bryant and his wife, former professional ballet dancer Bettina Bryant. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Cult wineries and craft breweries in a changing world," 20 June 2019 Among them are New York City real estate executive Stephen Benjamin and his wife, Elizabeth. The Washington Post, oregonlive.com, "Meet the New York couple donating millions to the anti-vax movement," 19 June 2019 In a separate incident in 2006, Brockhouse was accused of domestic violence by his second wife, Christine Rivera. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "Annalisa Brockhouse says she called police on her husband in 2009 even though he never harmed her," 19 June 2019 Two of them were former Sierra Club Foundation president Guy Saperstein, a California lawyer and major Democratic donor, and his wife, Jeanine Saperstein. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders Jockey for Position With Liberal Voters," 18 June 2019 But the loudest cheers this go round were for the occupants of the third carriage, Prince Harry and his new bride Meghan with Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "What It's Really Like to Attend Royal Ascot," 18 June 2019 His wife, Paige, told TLC that Bernie suffered from a heat stroke and heart attack while riding his bike, and died on Saturday, June 15. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Seeking Sister Wife' Star Bernie McGee Has Died at 41," 18 June 2019 Her is survived by his wife, six brothers, two sisters and his parents. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Off-duty Milwaukee police officer killed in crash early Tuesday when repeat drunken driver runs red light," 18 June 2019 He, his wife and their two dogs went to a coffee shop. Author: Jake Bleiberg, Jamie Stengle, Anchorage Daily News, "Masked gunman opens fire on Dallas courthouse, dies in shootout with officers," 17 June 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

23 Jun 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

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


to take the place or position of

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