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  1. a married man, especially when considered in relation to his partner in marriage.
  2. British. a manager.
  3. Archaic. a prudent or frugal manager.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to manage, especially with prudent economy.
  2. to use frugally; conserve: to husband one's resources.
  3. Archaic.
    1. to be or become a husband to; marry.
    2. to find a husband for.
    3. to till; cultivate.
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Origin of husband

before 1000; Middle English husband(e), Old English hūsbonda master of the house < Old Norse hūsbōndi, equivalent to hūs house + bōndi (bō-, variant of bū- dwell (see boor) + -nd present participle suffix + -i inflectional ending)
Related formshus·band·er, nounhus·band·less, adjectiveun·hus·band·ed, adjective

Synonyms for husband

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for husband

partner, spouse, companion, consort, groom, bridegroom, helpmate, mate, monogamist, hubby

Examples from the Web for husband

Contemporary Examples of husband

Historical Examples of husband

  • The girls I know are taught painstakingly how to get a husband, but nothing of how to be a wife.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mr. Bines is my husband, Mtterchen, and we're leaving for the West in the morning.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "I ordered the sun turned on at just this point," replied her husband, with a large air.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mrs. Morgan gave Robert a reception as warm as her husband had done.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for husband


  1. a woman's partner in marriage
  2. archaic
    1. a manager of an estate
    2. a frugal person
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  1. to manage or use (resources, finances, etc) thriftily
  2. archaic
    1. (tr)to find a husband for
    2. (of a woman) to marry (a man)
  3. (tr) obsolete to till (the soil)
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Derived Formshusbander, nounhusbandless, adjective

Word Origin for husband

Old English hūsbonda, from Old Norse hūsbōndi, from hūs house + bōndi one who has a household, from bōa to dwell
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 husband


Old English husbonda "male head of a household," probably from Old Norse husbondi "master of the house," from hus "house" (see house (n.)) + bondi "householder, dweller, freeholder, peasant," from buandi, present participle of bua "to dwell" (see bower). Beginning late 13c., replaced Old English wer as "married man," companion of wif, a sad loss for English poetry. Slang shortening hubby first attested 1680s.

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"manage thriftily," early 15c., from husband (n.) in an obsolete sense of "steward" (mid-15c.). Related: Husbanded; husbanding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper