house·wife | \ˈhau̇s-ˌwīf; especially in sense 2 and in early poetry ˈhə-zəf or -səf \
plural housewives\ˈhau̇s-ˌwīvz 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 \ noun
housewifely \ˈhau̇s-ˌwīf-lē \ adjective
housewifery \ˈhau̇s-ˌwī-f(ə-)rē; British -(ˌ)wi-f(ə-)rē also ˈhə-zə-frē \ noun
housewifey \ˈhau̇s-ˌwī-fē \ adjective

Examples of housewife in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dresses had a retro-futuristic vibe, a bit 1950s housewife meets Barbarella. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fendi Embraces Faux Over Fur in Paris Couture Show," 5 July 2018 College kids from the Lower 48, foreign workers with green cards and corporate executives will all be impacted by the housewife who can afford to purchase a pound of premium Bristol Bay sockeye. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Bristol Bay is a happy place right now, but time — and the marketplace – will tell if those smiles last," 17 June 2018 Denise Gough, a rising British theater actress who tore the house down in recent London and New York productions of People, Places, Things, starts strong as Harper, the pill-addled housewife plagued by visions of doom. Richard Lawson, Vanities, "Review: Angels in America Returns to Broadway in All Its Triumph and Tragedy," 26 Mar. 2018 Wonder Woman put a stop to WWI in Wonder Woman, the Flossy Posse got Essence Fest started in Girls Trip, and the housewives of Monterey uncovered secrets lurking in their own beautiful, beachside mansions in Big Little Lies., "Looking Ahead To The 2019 Lineup, Will Hollywood Greenlight More Women-Led Projects?," 13 July 2018 His father, Samuel Jackson, was a high school teacher, and his mother, Crystal Lee King, was a housewife. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Joe Jackson remembered as 'strong-willed' catalyst behind Gary's legendary musical family," 27 June 2018 Nominations: 12 Written and directed by the team behind Gilmore Girls, Mrs. Maisel is a wish-fulfillment fantasy about a 1950s housewife in New York City who throws off the mantle of the patriarchy to become a raunchy stand-up comic. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "9 Emmy-Nominated Shows You Can Binge to Escape Reality," 13 July 2018 Last year, against the advice of nearly every housewife (in the world, not just on the show), Luann married businessman Tom D’Agostino and thus gave up her official countess title. Beth Spotswood,, "‘Real Housewives’ star Luann de Lesseps is a cabaret queen at the Nikko," 26 June 2018 Heidi Janeth Torres-Montellano, a housewife who lives in Torreon, in north-central Mexico, waits in a limbo that is typical of many looking for missing relatives. Bob Ortega, CNN, "For families of vanished migrants, unidentified remains mean answers never come," 15 May 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

25 Sep 2018

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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 \
plural housewives\-ˌwīvz \

Kids Definition of housewife

: a married woman in charge of a household

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