From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Wife \Wife\, n.; pl. Wives. [OE. wif, AS. wif; akin to OFries.
   & OS. wif, D. wijf, G. weib, OHG. w[imac]b, Icel. v[imac]f,
   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,
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   1. A woman; an adult female; -- now used in literature only
      in certain compounds and phrases, as alewife, fishwife,
      goodwife, and the like. " Both men and wives." --Piers
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            On the green he saw sitting a wife.   --Chaucer.
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   2. 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. " The husband of one
      wife." --1 Tin. iii. 2.
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            Let every one you . . . so love his wife even as
            himself, and the wife see that she reverence her
            husband.                              --Eph. v. 33.
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   To give to wife, To take to wife, to give or take (a
      woman) in marriage.

   Wife's equity (Law), the equitable right or claim of a
      married woman to a reasonable and adequate provision, by
      way of settlement or otherwise, out of her choses in
      action, or out of any property of hers which is under the
      jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery, for the support of
      herself and her children. --Burrill.
      [1913 Webster]
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