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A young woman, usually a second wife, who is married for her extreme attractiveness and/or accomplishments, which her wealthy and powerful husband wants to show off as a winner might display a trophy. The term may have been coined earlier but became popular after it appeared in Fortune, where Julie Connelly wrote, “Powerful men are beginning to demand trophy wives” (Aug. 28, 1989). It is now a cliché.
See also: wife