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Wife, (plur. wives; also the Anglos. gen. of the singular spelt so in O. Edd., f. i. Wiv. II, 1, 242. III, 2, 35. III, 5, 79. IV, 2, 148. IV, 2, 148 Meas. IV, 2, 4. Merch. IV, 1, 451. V, 167. As IV, 1, 170. All's I, 3, 43) 1) any woman of mature age that is or might be married: “good morrow, good w. Not so, an't please your worship. Good maid then,” Wiv. II, 2, 36. “she's a civil modest w.” Wiv. II, 2, 36 “never a w. in Windsor leads a better life,” Wiv. II, 2, 36 “wives may be merry, and yet honest too,” IV, 2, 107. “how like you Windsor wives?” V, 5, 110. “the rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,” Merch. III, 2, 58. “him I love more . . . than e'er I shall love w.” Tw. V, 139 (quite == woman; placed in the rhyme). “let wives with child pray,” John III, 1, 89. “as did the wives of Jewry at Herod's slaughtermen,” H5 III, 3, 40. pales in the flood with men, with wives and boys, V Chor. H5 III, 3, 40 “his enforcement of the city wives,” R3 III, 7, 8. “make wells and Niobes of the maids and wives,” Troil. V, 10, 19. “lest that thy wives with spits and boys with stones in puny battle slay me,” Cor. IV, 4, 5. cf. Alewife, Goodwife, Housewife, Midwife; and the doubtful passage in Oth. I, 1, 21.
2) a married woman considered in her relation to her husband: Tp. 1, 1, 1, 1 II, 1, 4. III, 1, 83. IV, 77. IV, 77 V, 210. Gent. III, 1, 66. 76 “(take a w.).” Wiv. I, 1, 201. III, 3, 242. IV, 2, 125. Meas. I, 2, 151. II, 1, 69. II, 1, 69 Err. I, 1, 59. I, 2, 88. II, 1, 56. III, 1, 63 etc. etc. with “to:” R3 I, 2, 10. Lr. I, 1, 69. Cymb. V, 5, 39. “asked her for his w.” Cymb. V, 5, 39. “I take thee for w.” As IV, 1, 137. “to woo thee for my w.” Shr. II, 195. “have to w.” As IV, 1, 130. “will have Katharine to my w.” Shr. II, 282. Shr. II, 282 “took to w.” Caes. II, 1, 293. Hml. I, 2, 14. “take Antony Octavia to his w.” Ant. II, 2, 130. “what dowry shall I have with her to w.” Shr. II, 121.
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