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Obs. in most nations. The state or condition of a married woman.
During coverture, the being of the wife is civilly merged, for many purposes, into that of her husband; she can, therefore, in general, make no contracts without his consent, express or implied.
To this rule there are some exceptions: she may contract when it is for her benefit, such as to save her from starvation.
In some cases, when coercion has been used by the husband to induce her to commit crime, she is exempted from punishment.