What does wife mean?

Definitions for wife
waɪf; waɪvzwife

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word wife.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. wife, married womannoun

    a married woman; a man's partner in marriage


  1. wifenoun

    A married woman, especially in relation to her spouse.

  2. wifenoun

    The female of a pair of mated animals.

    A new wife for the gander is introduced into the pen.

  3. Etymology: From wif, wiif, wyf, from wif, from wīban, possibly from gʰʷí₂bʰ- (compare Tocharian A/B kip/kwīpe).\ Cognate with wife, wiif, wüf, wijf, Wief, Weib, viv, viv, vív, víf.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Wifenoun

    Plural wives A woman that has a husband.

    Etymology: wif , Saxon; wiff, Dutch.

    Your claim, fair sister,
    I bar it in the interest of my wife. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    There’s no bottom, none
    In my voluptuousness; your wives, your daughters,
    Your matrons and your maids could not fill up
    The cistern of my lust. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Why saidst thou, she is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife. Gen. xii. 19.

    The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
    Safest and seemliest by her husband stays. John Milton.

    The wife her husband murders, he the wife. Dryden.

    Fond of his friend, and civil to his wife. Alexander Pope.

    Strawberry wives lay two or three great strawberries at the mouth of their pot, and all the rest are little ones. Francis Bacon.


  1. Wife

    A wife (PL: wives) is a female in a marital relationship. A woman who has separated from her partner continues to be a wife until the marriage is legally dissolved with a divorce judgement. On the death of her partner, a wife is referred to as a widow. The rights and obligations of a wife in relation to her partner and her status in the community and in law vary between cultures and have varied over time.


  1. wife

    A wife is a married woman who is legally and traditionally bound to her husband in a committed and usually monogamous relationship. In many cultures and societies, a wife typically fulfills the role of a life partner, sharing domestic responsibilities, emotional support, and often participating in the raising of children together.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wifenoun

    a woman; an adult female; -- now used in literature only in certain compounds and phrases, as alewife, fishwife, goodwife, and the like

  2. Wifenoun

    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 husband

  3. Etymology: [OE. wif, AS. wif; akin to OFries. & OS. wif, D. wijf, G. weib, OHG. wb, Icel. vf, Dan. viv; and perhaps to Skr. vip excited, agitated, inspired, vip to tremble, L. vibrare to vibrate, E. vibrate. Cf. Tacitus, [ Germania 8]: Inesse quin etiam sanctum aliquid et providum putant, nec aut consilia earum aspernantur aut responsa neglegunt. Cf. Hussy a jade, Woman.]


  1. Wife

    A wife is a female partner in a continuing marital relationship. A wife may also be referred to as a spouse. The term continues to be applied to a woman who has separated from her husband and ceases to be applied to such a woman only when her marriage has come to an end following a legally recognised divorce or the death of her spouse. On the death of her husband, a wife is referred to as a widow, but not after she is divorced from her husband. The rights and obligations of the wife in relation to her husband, and others, and her status in the community and in law, varies between cultures and has varied over time. In a heterosexual relationship, a woman's spouse is her husband.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Wife

    wīf, n. a woman: a married woman: the mistress of a house, a hostess—often in this sense 'goodwife.'—n. Wife′hood, the state of being a wife.—adjs. Wife′less, without a wife; Wife′-like, Wife′ly. [A.S. wíf; Ice. víf, Ger. weib; not conn. with weave.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. wife

    1. In good society, a publicity agent who advertises her husband's financial status through conspicuous waste and conspicuous leisure. 2. In the submerged tenth, a punching-bag and something handy for batting up flies. 3. A man's mental mate, and therefore his competitor in the race for power. 4. The other half of the sphere. (This view is usually regarded as a vagary, and any one holding it is apt to be pointed out as strange, peculiar, erratic and unsafe.)

Editors Contribution

  1. wife

    A person that is married

    His wife is working on a project at the moment and he looks forward with joyful anticipation to seeing and cuddling with her.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 20, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. wife

    The wife symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the wife symbol and its characteristic.

  2. WIFE

    What does WIFE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WIFE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wife' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #554

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wife' in Written Corpus Frequency: #775

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'wife' in Nouns Frequency: #198

How to pronounce wife?

How to say wife in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wife in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wife in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of wife in a Sentence

  1. Harvey Newkirk:

    I am so sorry for the impact of my actions on my wife and children.

  2. Christopher Doyle:

    I know I am not calling people bad or evil in my work, and I do have gay friends, and they support me, even if they don't necessarily agree with everything I say, but I don't agree with everything my wife says, either.

  3. Arkesh Mishra:

    Both my wife and I work and we need to have a place to come back to where we love living. The government's not been able to provide these facilities, which is why we are paying for them, for our generation, these are important. I want to have the option of going for a jog, or a swim without having to deal with traffic, noise or worry about safety issues.

  4. Tim McGraw:

    When you think about this guy (who) takes off, and he’s going to go by himself in a wagon across uncharted territory with his wife, his daughter, a 5-year-old son and two other women, who thinks that they can do that?

  5. Rey Steve Mabiala:

    My wife keeps telling me, ‘ But how could this happen ? You always promised me that Canada was a peaceful country, but now we’re starting to flee as if we’re back home.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for wife

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"wife." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wife>.

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