wife


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to wife: WFIE

wife

a married woman.

WIFE, domestic relations. A woman who has a husband.
     2. A wife, as such, possesses rights and is liable to obligations. These will be considered. 1st. She may make contracts for the purchase of real estate for her own benefit, unless her husband expressly dissents. 6 Binn. R. 427. And she is entitled to a legacy directly given to her for her separate use. 6 Serg. & Rawle, R. 467. In some places, by statutory provision, she may act as a feme sole trader, and as such acquire personal property. 2 Serg. & Rawle, R. 289.
     3. 2d. She may in Pennsylvania, and in most other states, convey her interest in her own or her husband's lands by deed acknowledged in a form prescribed by law. 8 Dowl. R. 630.
     4.-3d. She is under obligation to love, honor and obey her husband and is bound to follow him wherever he may desire to establish himself: 5 N. S. 60; (it is presumed not out of the boundaries of the United States,) unless the husband, by acts of injustice and such as are contrary to his marital duties, renders her life or happiness insecure.
     5.-4th. She is not liable for any obligations she enters into to pay money on any contract she makes, while she lives with her husband; she is presumed in such case to act as the agent of her husband. Chitty, Contr. 43
     6.-5th. The incapacities of femes covert, apply to their civil rights, and are intended for their protection and interest. Their political rights stand upon different grounds, they can, therefore, acquire and lose a national character. These rights stand upon the general principles of the law of nations. Harp. Eq. R. 5 3 Pet. R. 242.
     7.-6th. A wife, like all other persons, when she acts with freedom, may be punished for her criminal acts. But the law presumes, when she commits in his presence a crime, not malum in se, as murder or treason, that she acts by the command and coercion of her husband, and, upon this ground, she is exempted from punishment. Rose. on Cr. Ev. 785. But this is only a presumption of law, and if it appears, upon the evidence, that she did not in fact commit the act under compulsion, but was herself a principal actor and inciter in it, she may be punished. 1 Hale, P. C. 516; 1 Russ. on Cr. 16, 20. Vide Contract; Divorce; Husband; Incapacity; Marriage; Necessaries; Parties to actions; Parties to contracts; Women and, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index,

References in classic literature ?
"The doubles the offense," said Porthos, disengaging his arm from that of the procurator's wife; "for if you are rich, Madame Coquenard, then there is no excuse for your refusal."
There was no possibility of doubting my wife's word; but I never knew genuine Kalydor, such as I use for my own complexion, to smell so much like cherry brandy.
If he did not at once give his consent to a reunion with his wife, it was only because in his state of depression he did not feel able to take any step.
"I yield to no one," he began, "in the pity I feel for the wife. But I say, the martyr in this case, from first to last, is the husband.
As soon as my wife heard me speak this she at once cried out, "What are you doing, husband?
"He is no such thing," cried my Wife, "and you are breaking the Commandments in thus dishonouring your own Grandson." But I took no notice of her.
'Husband, there is not near room enough for us in this cottage; the courtyard and the garden are a great deal too small; I should like to have a large stone castle to live in: go to the fish again and tell him to give us a castle.' 'Wife,' said the fisherman, 'I don't like to go to him again, for perhaps he will be angry; we ought to be easy with this pretty cottage to live in.' 'Nonsense!' said the wife; 'he will do it very willingly, I know; go along and try!'
Germaine to my wife, warning us that we were not to expect to meet a large party.
And again every detail of his quarrel with his wife was present to his imagination, all the hopelessness of his position, and worst of all, his own fault.
When the hunter did not come home in the evening his wife grew very anxious, and when his game bag was found close to the mill-pond she guessed at once what had befallen him.
R.C.--Pray, Will, let us know what passed between you and your wife; for I know something of it already.
HE THAT hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.