“Husband” and “wife” were altered as well to encompass married gay couples. Husband is defined as “a man to whom someone is married,” while wife is “a woman to whom someone is married.”
The Chambers Dictionary was not the first to edit definitions in response to cultural changes. The Macmillan Dictionary changed the definition of marriage to “the relationship between two people who are husband and wife, or a similar relationship between people of the same sex,” in August 2013.
Macmillan has not yet altered the definitions of “husband” and “wife,” but may do so in the future. Editor-in-chief Michael Rundell said, “In a same-sex relationship, two men are probably not going to refer to themselves as ‘wife,’ but it’s two women, they might, so we need to keep an eye out for that.”
Publication date: July 31, 2014