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1. A man who beats his wife.
2. Offensive Slang A white, sleeveless, usually tight-fitting undershirt.

[Sense 2, from the popular association of the garment with a stereotype of a violent lower-class man.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Caption: WIFE-BEATER--A family led by a proud wifebeater was given some time on state television.
At the top of the bridge, that was the last time I saw my father after my mum threw the drunken wifebeater out.
(83.) Snell et al., The Wifebeater's Wife, 11 Archives of Gen.
He began to pick up the broken pieces and spoke to Stone, who called his father a 'wifebeater' before going back inside, only to come back out a few minutes later to cause more damage.
And those who bizarrely still see Simpson as an all-American hero would do well to remember he is a liar, a wifebeater, and in many people's eyes a murderer (though not convicted in a criminal court, a civil judgment found him liable for the deaths of Nicole and Goldman in 1997).
Reed lurks around in a wifebeater and sagging shorts.
Convicted wifebeater Derek Mitchell - who attacked Suzie so badly she said she tried to kill herself - was arrested on Saturday.
There may be / among us a wifebeater, surely a thief ...
He looks like a wifebeater. He looks like the guy stood in his wrecked kitchen (the smashed dinner plate out of touch Cameron sliding down the wall, the cabinet door hanging off its hinges) in a blood-stained vest, towering over his crying wife, the woman he has just battered, and screaming, 'NOW LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO!
On the second night at his mum's house, Eddie settled down to sleep around midnight, but as he lay there in the dark he heard a familiar voice calling him a cowardly wifebeater. The voice sounded like that of Mary, a friend of his wife he hadn't seen for a year.