a married man, especially when considered in relation to his partner in marriage.
British. a manager.
Archaic. a prudent or frugal manager.

verb (used with object)

to manage, especially with prudent economy.
to use frugally; conserve: to husband one's resources.
  1. to be or become a husband to; marry.
  2. to find a husband for.
  3. to till; cultivate.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

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

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

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

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for husband



a woman's partner in marriage
  1. a manager of an estate
  2. a frugal person


to manage or use (resources, finances, etc) thriftily
  1. (tr)to find a husband for
  2. (of a woman) to marry (a man)
(tr) obsolete to till (the soil)
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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper