[hous-wahyf or, usually, huhz-if for 2]
- Sometimes Offensive. a married woman who manages her own household, especially as her principal occupation.
- British. a sewing box; a small case or box for needles, thread, etc.
- Archaic. to manage with efficiency and economy, as a household.
Origin of housewife
Most people, married or unmarried, find the term housewife perfectly acceptable. But it is sometimes perceived as insulting, perhaps because it implies a lowly status (“She’s just a housewife”) or because it defines an occupation in terms of a woman's relation to a man. Homemaker is a fairly common substitute.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for housewife
Right back into that housewife position I was in in the first place.Julianna Margulies's Favorite 'The Good Wife' Scenes
August 11, 2014
He simply glanced up at the author of So Big and Show Boat and then wrote “Housewife.”American Dreams, 1924: ‘So Big’ by Edna Ferber
March 29, 2014
The 37-year-old was raised in a village outside of Kiev by his mother, a housewife, and his father, a construction manager.Thank Ukraine's Spies for WhatsApp
February 21, 2014
On a cool December evening in 2011, an Egyptian housewife woke up screaming in her bed.Did Egypt's Arab Spring Martyrs Die in Vain?
January 26, 2014
She is an adult and just a housewife from the suburbs to these people.‘Mad Men’ Season Premiere: Matthew Weiner on the ‘The Doorway’ & More
April 8, 2013
In sooth, I would yet do it, if he would make it up with the housewife.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
A test that can be applied by the housewife is illustrated in Fig. 4.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Every housewife who uses a teakettle is familiar with this condition.
A careful study of this table will be profitable to the housewife.
The housewife, in the absence of her husband, received me very kindly.In the Heart of Vosges
- a woman, typically a married woman, who keeps house, usually without having paid employment
- Also called: hussy, huswife (ˈhʌzɪf) mainly British a small sewing kit issued to soldiers
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
Word Origin and History for housewife
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper