house·​keep·​er | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌkē-pər \

Definition of housekeeper 

1 : one employed to manage the domestic duties involved in maintaining a house
2 : a member of a household who manages the domestic duties of the household She was her father's housekeeper— Lucy Maud Montgomery especially : one who keeps house in a specified way was always a good/poor housekeeper … a tidy housekeeper who kept flowers outside his unit … — Kyle Swenson

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Synonyms for housekeeper


biddy, char [British], charwoman, handmaiden (also handmaid), house girl, housemaid, maid, maidservant, skivvy [British], wench

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Examples of housekeeper in a Sentence

the bachelor doctor could easily afford to hire a housekeeper to cook and clean

Recent Examples on the Web

Centered on the family home, its true focus is the family’s housekeeper, Cleo (a memorable Yalitza Aparicio), whom the family both loves and exploits. John Powers, Vogue, "These Were 2018’s 12 Best Movies," 12 Dec. 2018 Rents for the Victorian stone shooting lodge, which sleeps 16, start at around $3,000 a week—internet included, but exclusive of housekeeper, cook, provisions and tips. Cathy Newman, WSJ, "A Chic Scottish Sojourn Among the Manors," 7 Dec. 2018 Waiting for Tom was the Hunter's part-time housekeeper, Shirlee Sherman. CBS News, "Was revenge the motive behind Omaha stabbing deaths?," 2 June 2018 Many contemporaries believed that Stevens lived with his black housekeeper, Lydia Hamilton Smith, as if husband and wife: the lifelong bachelor commissioned a portrait of Smith and included her in his socializing with friends. Erick Trickey, Washington Post, "‘Kill the beast’: The impeachment trial that nearly took down a president 150 years ago," 16 May 2018 Betty and her siblings were placed in an orphanage and later were reunited with their father and his housekeeper, who was abusive to the children. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: A well-lived life of 99 years and 364 days ends one day short of this woman's 100th birthday goal," 20 Mar. 2018 The American Hotel & Lodging Association suggests leaving your housekeeper $1-$5 per day, with additional tips for special requests. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "Why And How Much You Should Tip Your Hotel Maid," 25 Jan. 2018 Unite Here claims that the program cuts hours for full-time housekeepers and creates unsafe workloads for workers who do manage to get scheduled. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Marriott Sees Weaker Demand in North America," 6 Nov. 2018 Last year, his company applied for permission to hire waiters, housekeepers and cooks. David A. Fahrenthold,, "Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida seeks to hire 61 foreign workers as seasonal cooks and waiters," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'housekeeper.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of housekeeper

circa 1528, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for housekeeper

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for housekeeper

The first known use of housekeeper was circa 1528

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English Language Learners Definition of housekeeper

: a person whose job is to manage the cooking, cleaning, etc., in a house


house·​keep·​er | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌkē-pər \

Kids Definition of housekeeper

: a person employed to take care of a house

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