One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A woman without a husband, especially one who is divorced.
- ‘McDowell details the position of the feme sole in the book trade.’
- ‘In Kempe's case, the failed brewery would have had economic repercussions, from which her husband was legally exempt if she operated as a femme sole.’
- ‘Single women enjoyed the legal status of femme sole, giving them the right to own property in their own names and to make contracts.’
Early 16th century: from Anglo-Norman French feme soule ‘a woman alone’.
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