huswife

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English, equivalent to house +‎ wife. See also hussy.

Noun[edit]

huswife (plural huswifes)

  1. (obsolete) A housewife.
  2. (obsolete) A worthless woman; hussy.
  3. A small case containing scissors, thread, needles, and other sewing things.
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, ch.38:
      And for my part, I was all in a fright for fear your sister should ask us for the huswifes she had gave us a day or two before; but however, nothing was said about them, and I took care to keep mine out of sight.
    • 1815, Jane Austen, Emma, vol.2, ch.1:
      I was sure it could not be far off; but I had put my huswife upon it, you see, without being aware, and so it was quite hid, but I had it in my hand so very lately that I was almost sure it must be on the table.

Verb[edit]

huswife (third-person singular simple present huswifes, present participle huswifing, simple past and past participle huswifed)

  1. (said of a woman) To manage with frugality.