[goo d-wahyf]

noun, plural good·wives [goo d-wahyvz] /ˈgʊdˌwaɪvz/.

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for goodwife

Historical Examples of goodwife

  • 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.'

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for goodwife


noun plural -wives archaic

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