Definition of the Wife of Bath from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Wife of Bath

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one of the best-known characters in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. She is a lively woman who has been married five times and makes many humorous remarks about sex. The story she tells, the Wife of Bath's Tale, is about one of King Arthur's knights. He has to find the answer to the question ‘What do women love most?’ to avoid being killed. An ugly old woman says that she will tell him the answer, but only if he marries her. He agrees, and she becomes a beautiful young woman.