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[goo d-wahyf] /ˈgʊdˌwaɪf/
noun, plural goodwives
[goo d-wahyvz] /ˈgʊdˌwaɪvz/ (Show IPA)
Chiefly Scot. the mistress of a household.
(initial capital letter) Archaic. a title of respect for a woman.
Origin of goodwife
Middle English word dating back to 1275-1325; See origin at good, wife Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for goodwife
Historical Examples
  • Aweel, and I trust he is not at his auld tricks again, goodwife?

    St. Ronan's Well Sir Walter Scott
  • There was also present goodwife Corey, who was subsequently arrested for a witch.

    The Witch of Salem John R. Musick
  • Here he found the goodwife of the house 'sitting on a bink.'

    King Robert the Bruce A. F. Murison
  • goodwife Tinker was to look to me to-day; I felt very well this morning.

    Soldier Rigdale Beulah Marie Dix
  • goodwife Smyth (then a servant there) sayeth she beleeves she was borne 14 of Aprill.

  • You'll be glad, I'm sure, to have the goodwife back, Erchie?

    Erchie (AKA Hugh Foulis) Neil Munro
  • By direction of the goodwife, we took a by-path which led towards the village.

    Lancashire Sketches

    Edwin Waugh
  • I doubt it'll be long in the sleeves, woman, for the goodwife has a lengthy reach.

    The Lost Pibroch Neil Munro
  • There are none in the ministers house but me and goodwife Allen who keeps it.

    By order of the company Mary Johnston
  • They went before the sun was an hour high, so goodwife Allen says.

    By order of the company Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for goodwife


noun (archaic) (pl) -wives
the mistress of a household
a woman not of gentle birth: used as a title
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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