American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A woman joined to a man in marriage; a female spouse.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A woman: now only in rural or provincial use, especially in Scotland, and usually with an adjective, or in composition with a noun, implying a woman of humble position: as, old wives' tales; a fish wife.
- n. The mistress of a house; a hostess: called more distinctively the goodwife (correlative to goodman) or the housewīfe.
- n. A woman who is united to a man in the lawful bonds of wedlock; a man's spouse: the correlative of husband.
- To take a wife; marry.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A woman; an adult female; -- now used in literature only in certain compounds and phrases, as ale
wife, fish wife, good wife, and the like.
- n. The lawful consort of a man; a woman who is united to a man in wedlock; a woman who has a husband; a married woman; -- correlative of
- n. a married woman; a man's partner in marriage
- From Middle English wif, wiif, wyf, from Old English wīf ("woman, female, lady, wife"), from Proto-Germanic *wīban (“woman, wife”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *gʰʷí₂bʰ- (“shame, pudenda”) (compare Tocharian A/B kip/kwīpe ("shame, genitals, female pudenda")). Cognate with Scots wife ("wife"), West Frisian wiif ("wife, woman"), North Frisian wüf ("wife, woman"), Dutch wijf ("woman, female"), Low German Wief ("woman, female"), German Weib ("woman, wife, female"), Danish viv ("woman"), Swedish viv ("woman"), Faroese vív ("wife, woman"), Icelandic víf ("woman"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English wif, from Old English wīf. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Everything will depend on my wife -- [_relishing the word_] my _wife_.”
“Oh, no! "He is asking the spirit of his wife to go with him when he goes fishing, and make him successful also when he goes hunting, or goes to battle," etc.; his last request being, "_And please don't be angry if I get another wife_!”
“Far instance, if the claimant be a mother, the affidavit must state that there is living neither wife, child or father of the deceased; if the father, that there is neither wife or child; and if the child, that there is no widowed wife*”
Guide for Claimants of Deceased Soldiers, Being Instructions to Army Officers and to Claimants, with a Collation of the Laws of Congress and the Orders from the War Department, and the Rules of Practice in the Offices of the Second Auditor and Comptroller of the Treasury, Concerning the Settlement of the Claims of Deceased Officers and Soldiers.
“In _Coriolanus_, Shakespeare makes Volumnia the mother, and Virgilia the wife, of Coriolanus; but his _wife_ was Volumnia, and his _mother_”
“Sir, I have known what it was to have a wife, and (in a solemn tender faultering tone) I have known what it was to _lose a wife_.”
“Though she is named after the wife of the founder of the Taggart Transcontinental Railroad (Nathanial Taggart, whose statue still stands in the New York Terminal), her brother once said that she reminded people more of Nat Taggart than of his wife& amp; mdash; a comparison that she has always taken as a compliment.”
“_Ferondo, having swallowed a certain powder, is entombed for dead and being taken forth of the sepulchre by the abbot, who enjoyeth his wife the while, is put in prison and given to believe that he is in purgatory; after which, being raised up again, he reareth for his own a child begotten of the abbot on his wife_ 169”
“a wife (and no woman not a _wife_, do we believe fully competent to write on this subject), recently met our eyes in the pages of a periodical.”
“Unbecoming as they are in a young unmarried female, a much stricter sense of decorum, a vastly different repose and reserve of manner, are absolutely essential in a wife; and it is as a _wife_, Kate, that I am now addressing you. ”
“Even if you yourself were dying you should be my wife -- _my wife_ -- first. ”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘wife’.
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Well, how'd you do, Private Willie McBride,
D'you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
I'll rest for a while in the warm summer sun,
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