See more synonyms for husband on
  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.
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.

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

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for husbanding

Historical Examples of husbanding

  • Dave and Greg didn't talk now; they were husbanding their store of "wind."

  • We are husbanding our fuel, and two meals a day is our programme.

  • Nettleship pointed out to us the importance of husbanding our stores.

    Paddy Finn

    W. H. G. Kingston

  • In me the poor girl was husbanding her one hope, and was fearful of losing it.


    George Sand

  • He knew it himself and he was husbanding his failing strength as best he could.

    Play the Game!

    Ruth Comfort Mitchell

British Dictionary definitions for husbanding


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



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