common-law wife definition, common-law wife meaning | English dictionary

Collins

common law

  

      n  
1    the body of law based on judicial decisions and custom, as distinct from statute law  
2    the law of a state that is of general application, as distinct from regional customs  
3       common-law          modifier   denoting a marriage deemed to exist after a couple have cohabited for several years  
common-law marriage, common-law wife     
English Collins Dictionary - English Definition & Thesaurus  
Collaborative Dictionary     English Definition
n.
attractive woman that you marry to show your success
n.
Marriage between a man of royal or noble birth and a woman of lesser status, with the stipulation that wife and children have no claims to his titles or possessions or dignity. Still common at the beginning of the 20th C., the practice is now rare. Syn. Morganatic marriage, marriage of the left hand
[Hist.] So-called, because at the nuptial ceremony the husband gives his left hand to the bride, rather than his right, when saying, “I take thee for my wedded wife.”
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"Collins English Dictionary 5th Edition first published in 2000 © HarperCollins Publishers 1979, 1986, 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"