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See more synonyms for husband on Thesaurus.com
  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


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

Related Words

preserve, enjoy, absorb, own, recognize, keep, maintain, have, contain, hold, possess, plow, reap, tend, graze, sow, cultivate, operate, harvest, grow

Examples from the Web for husbanded

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Already, perhaps, they were on their way, and he husbanded his strength against their coming.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • All possessions, apart from their home productions, must be husbanded to the utmost.

    The Bondwoman

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • I should have done so before and have husbanded the precious years when they were at their best.

  • Carefully we husbanded the precious fluid; we had learned to know its value.

  • Oh, how carefully we husbanded the few precious nuts which remained!

British Dictionary definitions for husbanded


  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

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 husbanded



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