Definition of wife noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//waɪf//
; NAmE NAmE//waɪf//
(pl. wives
BrE BrE//waɪvz//
; NAmE NAmE//waɪvz//
Marriage, Relations
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  • the woman that somebody is married to; a married woman the doctor’s wife She's his second wife. an increase in the number of working wives CollocationsMarriage and divorceRomance fall/​be (madly/​deeply/​hopelessly) in love (with somebody) be/​believe in/​fall in love at first sight be/​find true love/​the love of your life suffer (from) (the pains/​pangs of) unrequited love have/​feel/​show/​express great/​deep/​genuine affection for somebody/​something meet/​marry your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have/​go on a (blind) date be going out with/(especially North American English) dating a guy/​girl/​boy/​man/​woman move in with/​live with your boyfriend/​girlfriend/​partnerWeddings get/​be engaged/​married/​divorced arrange/​plan a wedding have a big wedding/​a honeymoon/​a happy marriage have/​enter into an arranged marriage call off/​cancel/​postpone your wedding invite somebody to/​go to/​attend a wedding/​a wedding ceremony/​a wedding reception conduct/​perform a wedding ceremony exchange rings/​wedding vows/​marriage vows congratulate/​toast/​raise a glass to the happy couple be/​go on honeymoon (with your wife/​husband) celebrate your first (wedding) anniversarySeparation and divorce be unfaithful to/(informal) cheat on your husband/​wife/​partner/​fiancé/fiancée/​boyfriend/​girlfriend have an affair (with somebody) break off/​end an engagement/​a relationship break up with/​split up with/ (informal) dump your boyfriend/​girlfriend separate from/​be separated from/​leave/​divorce your husband/​wife annul/​dissolve a marriage apply for/​ask for/​go through/​get a divorce get/​gain/​be awarded/​have/​lose custody of the children pay alimony/​child support (to your ex-wife/​husband) see also fishwife, housewife, midwife, trophy wife See related entries: Marriage, Relations
  • Word OriginOld English wīf ‘woman’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wijf and German Weib.Extra examples His long-suffering wife had to put up with his numerous affairs. His wife has just given birth to a son. I first met my wife at college. Mr Thomas is survived by his wife, Muriel. She’s a classic trophy wife—beautiful and half his age. The general was accompanied by his wife. With a dependent wife and children, he can’t afford to lose his job. a hostel for battered wives At that time there was an increase in the number of working wives. This is my wife, Julie.Idioms a man and woman who are married to each other They lived together as husband and wife (= as if they were married) for years. a husband-and-wife team (disapproving) an old idea or belief that has been proved not to be scientific
    (all) the world and his wife
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    (British English, informal, humorous) everyone; a large number of people
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: wife