plural of wife.

Nearby words

  1. witting,
  2. wittingly,
  3. wittol,
  4. witty,
  5. witwatersrand,
  6. wivern,
  7. wives,
  8. wiz,
  9. wizard,
  10. wizard of oz, the wonderful



noun, plural wives [wahyvz] /waɪvz/.

a married woman, especially when considered in relation to her partner in marriage.
a woman (archaic or dial., except in idioms): old wives' tale.

verb (used with or without object), wifed, wif·ing.

Rare. wive.

Origin of wife

before 900; Middle English, Old English wīf woman; cognate with Dutch wijf, German Weib, Old Norse vīf

Related formswife·dom, nounwife·less, adjectivewife·less·ness, noun



verb (used without object), wived, wiv·ing.

to take a wife; marry.

verb (used with object), wived, wiv·ing.

to take as wife; marry.
to provide with a wife.

Origin of wive

before 900; Middle English wiven, Old English wīfian, derivative of wīf; see wife

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wives

British Dictionary definitions for wives



the plural of wife


verb archaic

to marry (a woman)
(tr) to supply with a wife

Word Origin for wive

Old English gewīfian, from wīf wife


noun plural wives (waɪvz)

a man's partner in marriage; a married womanRelated adjective: uxorial
an archaic or dialect word for woman
take to wife to marry (a woman)
Derived Forms

Word Origin for wife

Old English wīf; related to Old Norse vīf (perhaps from vīfathr veiled), Old High German wīb (German Weib)

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

Word Origin and History for wives
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wives


see old wives' tale.


see under wives.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.