house·​wife | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌwīf How to pronounce housewife (audio) ; especially in sense 2 and in early poetry ˈhə-zəf or -səf How to pronounce housewife (audio) \
plural housewives\ ˈhau̇s-​ˌwīvz How to pronounce housewife (audio) also  ˈhau̇z-​ˌwīvz ; ˈhə-​zəfs , -​zəvz , -​səfs , -​səvz \

Definition of housewife

1 : a married woman in charge of a household
2 : a pocket-size container for small articles (such as thread)

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Other Words from housewife

housewifeliness \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌwīf-​lē-​nəs How to pronounce housewife (audio) \ noun
housewifely \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌwīf-​lē How to pronounce housewife (audio) \ adjective
housewifery \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌwī-​f(ə-​)rē How to pronounce housewife (audio) ; British  -​(ˌ)wi-​f(ə-​)rē also  ˈhə-​zə-​frē \ noun
housewifey \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌwī-​fē How to pronounce housewife (audio) \ adjective

Examples of housewife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The series stars Emmy-winning Schitt’s Creek actress Annie Murphy, who plays a housewife on an American sitcom but with a twist. Alejandra Gularte, Vulture, 27 Aug. 2021 Nick was completely innocent and the real villain was some bored housewife and her husband. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 30 Aug. 2021 In her first season as a housewife, she was received well by the OGs of the show — minus a couple spats that had nothing to do with her appearance. Tameka Amado, Essence, 25 Aug. 2021 Charles Robert Watts, son of a lorry driver and a housewife, was born in Neasden, London, on June 2, 1941. Dan Singer, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2021 While out to celebrate Singer’s birthday, McSweeney voiced concerns about the upcoming charity single by fellow housewife Luann de Lesseps. Vogue, 29 July 2021 To Poulain’s dismay, the home has become a workplace where the housewife toils alone. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, 28 July 2021 Lily Rabe just signed on to star opposite Elisabeth Olsen in a new true crime drama for HBO Max, which chronicles the true story of murderous Texas housewife Candy Montgomery. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 9 July 2021 Paris says the drama between Kyle and middle sister Kim Richards, a housewife during the show's first five seasons, worried her and Nicky. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'housewife.' 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 housewife

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of housewife was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Housewife.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for housewife



English Language Learners Definition of housewife

: a married woman who stays at home, does cleaning, cooking, etc., and does not have another job outside the home


house·​wife | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌwīf How to pronounce housewife (audio) \
plural housewives\ -​ˌwīvz \

Kids Definition of housewife

: a married woman in charge of a household

More from Merriam-Webster on housewife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for housewife

Nglish: Translation of housewife for Spanish Speakers


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