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From Middle English husbonde, housbonde, from Old English hūsbonda, hūsbunda (male head of a household, householder, master of a house), probably from Old Norse húsbóndi (master of house), from hús (house) + bóndi (dweller, householder), equivalent to house +‎ bond (serf, slave", originally, "dweller).

Bond in turn represents a formation derived from the present participle of WestScand. búa, EastScand. bôa = to build, plow; cf. German bauen, der Bauende. Cognate with Icelandic húsbóndi (head of household), Faroese húsbóndi (husband), Norwegian husbond (head of household, husband), Swedish husbonde (master), Danish husbond (husband) (< Old Danish husbonde).


husband (plural husbands)

  1. (obsolete) The master of a house; the head of a family; a householder.
  2. (obsolete) A tiller of the ground; a husbandman.
  3. (archaic) A prudent or frugal manager.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Fuller (1606-1661)
      God knows how little time is left me, and may I be a good husband, to improve the short remnant left me.
  4. A man in a marriage or marital relationship, especially in relation to his spouse.
    You should start dating so you can find a suitable husband.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Blackstone (1723-1780)
      The husband and wife are one person in law.
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter I, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., 55 Fifth Avenue, [1933], OCLC 2666860, page 0016:
      A great bargain also had been [] the arm-chair in which Bunting now sat forward, staring into the dull, small fire. In fact, that arm-chair had been an extravagance of Mrs. Bunting. She had wanted her husband to be comfortable after the day's work was done, and she had paid thirty-seven shillings for the chair.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
  5. The male of a pair of animals.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  6. (Britain) A manager of property; one who has the care of another's belongings, owndom, or interests; a steward; an economist.
  7. A large cushion with arms meant to support a person in the sitting position.
    While reading her book, Sally leaned back against her husband, wishing it were the human kind.
  8. (Britain dialectal) A polled tree; a pollard.




Derived terms[edit]



husband (third-person singular simple present husbands, present participle husbanding, simple past and past participle husbanded)

  1. (transitive) To manage or administer carefully and frugally; use to the best advantage; economise.
    For my means, I'll husband them so well, / They shall go far. — Shakespeare.
  2. (transitive) To conserve.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
      ...I found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To till; cultivate; farm; nurture.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Evelyn
      Land so trim and rarely husbanded.
  4. (transitive) To provide with a husband.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  5. (transitive) To engage or act as a husband to; assume the care of or responsibility for; accept as one's own.

Derived terms[edit]




hus (house) +‎ band (band)


husband n

  1. a group of musicians who regularly play live in a TV show


Declension of husband 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative husband husbandet husband husbanden
Genitive husbands husbandets husbands husbandens