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

Examples of housewife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After her departure, Kyle Richards will be the only such housewife remaining in the cast. Tyler Aquilina,, "Lisa Vanderpump leaving The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after 9 seasons," 7 June 2019 These French men and women — booksellers, farmers, schoolboys, housewives — show that courage can come from unexpected places. Sonia Purnell, Twin Cities, "Sonia Purnell: What D-Day teaches us about the difficulty – and importance – of resistance," 6 June 2019 Her father, Morris, owned a lamp repair shop, and her mother, Dorothy Alter, was a housewife and artist. Neil Genzlinger, New York Times, "Leah Napolin, Whose ‘Yentl’ Adaptation Made Broadway, Dies at 83," 16 May 2018 Four years have passed since Brazil’s most famous case of a lynching gone wrong, the killing of a housewife in Guarujá, a popular beach resort. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, "In Latin America, Awash in Crime, Citizens Impose Their Own Brutal Justice," 6 Dec. 2018 These housewives are realer than any of the Real Housewives. Casey Wilson, Glamour, "Casey Wilson Wants You to Start Watching 90 Day Fiancé," 25 Mar. 2019 Her character is a Hollywood housewife: a lady who lunches turned broke divorcée who is suddenly thrust into the work world and must figure out how to be her own woman. Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "Don't Call It a Comeback—Alicia Silverstone Has Been Here All Along," 20 June 2018 Their solution was an ad campaign selling beer to housewives—not to drink it but to cook with it. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "When Women Were Brewers," 4 Oct. 2018 Superstar designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard chose a different gal for a hang over the holidays: Beverly Hills housewife Lisa Vanderpump. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Of Course Star Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard Is Friends With Lisa Vanderpump," 30 Dec. 2018

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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Statistics for housewife

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for housewife

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on housewife

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with housewife

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for housewife

Spanish Central: Translation of housewife

Nglish: Translation of housewife for Spanish Speakers

Comments on housewife

What made you want to look up housewife? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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