Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


a man who hits his wife
Derived Forms
wife-beating, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for wife-beater
Historical Examples
  • The aspect of Willems as a wife-beater presented to him no interest.

  • The man was a wife-beater when drunk, which he was whenever he had “the price.”


    Jacob A. Riis
  • Not the wife-beater, for afterward he might beg her forgiveness and kiss her.

    The Starbucks

    Opie Percival Read
  • How do we know but what that wife-beater loved his wife dearly before marriage, and she did not care for him?

    Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • For example, the selfishness of a wife-beater is lower than the selfishness of a man who gives up his life for another.

    The Journal of a Disappointed Man Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion
  • They comfortably jail and feed a wife-beater, and leave his innocent wife and children to starve.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Delaware occupies toward freethinkers precisely the same position that a wife-beater does toward the wife.

  • She stole curious and forlorn glances at the dejected Bob, who bore the guilty look of at least a wife-beater or a family tyrant.

    The Trimmed Lamp

    O. Henry
  • Plenty of scoundrels have been sent to the galleys for less than that, but the courts won't concern themselves with a wife-beater.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
Contemporary definitions for wife-beater

a man's tank top or sleeveless undershirt

Word Origin

fr the stereotype that the shirts are worn predominantly by men who beat their wives

Usage Note

derogatory slang's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for wife-beater



A sleeveless undershirt worn by men •Fr regarding this as the attire of a male who would do this

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for wife-beater

Word Value for wife

Scrabble Words With Friends