Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
See also: cowife
co-wife (plural co-wives)
- In a polygamous marriage, another wife of a woman's husband.
1892, Kipling & Balestier, Naulahka, page 247:
- If a co-wife had sought the lives of those three of thine.
1990, Syed A. A. Razwy, Khadija-tul-Kubra (the Wife of the Prophet Muhammed) May Allah be Pleased with Her: A Short Story of Her Life), page 165:
- In fact, [Ayesha] was more jealous of Khadija, the dead wife, than she was of any of her living co-wives.
2000, Marjorie Shostak, Nisa, the life and words of a ǃKung woman, page 152:
- If the senior wife decides to make life unbearable for her co-wife and their husband, she is likely to succeed in forcing the newcomer to leave.
2008, Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen, Polygamy: a cross-cultural analysis, page 32:
- In other words, polygamous societies differ markedly with regards to allowing kin, especially sisters, to become co-wives. Sororal polygamy is practised in some societies because it is believed to foster greater cohesiveness among co-wives sharing values and norms, whereas it is specifically forbidden in other polygamous societies.