From Middle English husbonde, housbonde, from Old English hūsbonda, hūsbunda (“male head of a household, householder, master of a house”), 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 West Scandinavian búa, East Scandinavian bôa = to build, plow; compare 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)
- The master of a house; the head of a family; a householder.
- A tiller of the ground; a husbandman.
- 1627, George Hakewill, An Apologie Or Declaration of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World
- The painfull husband plowing up his ground, Shall finde all fret and rust both pikes and shields
- 1681 September 9 (Gregorian calendar), John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 30 August 1681]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […], volume I, 2nd edition, London: Henry Colburn, […]; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, […], published 1819, OCLC 976971842:
- He is the neatest husband for curious ordering his domestick and field accommodations.
- A prudent or frugal manager.
- 1645, Thomas Fuller, Good Thoughts in Bad Times, Occasional Meditations: V:
- God knows how little time is left me, and may I be a good husband, to improve the short remnant thereof.
- 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, Chapter 16:
- So I went and fetched a good dram of rum, and gave him; for I had been so good a husband of my rum that I had a great deal left. When he had drank it, I made him take the two fowling-pieces, which we always carried, and load them with large swan-shot, as big as small pistol-bullets. Then I took four muskets, and loaded them with two slugs and five small bullets each; and my two pistols I loaded with a brace of bullets each. I hung my great sword, as usual, naked, by my side, and gave Friday his hatchet.
- 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.
- 1765–1769, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, (please specify |book=I to IV), Oxford, Oxfordshire: […] Clarendon Press, OCLC 65350522:
- 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., […], , 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.
- The male of a pair of animals.
- (UK) A manager of property; one who has the care of another's belongings, owndom, or interests; a steward; an economist.
- 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.
- (UK dialectal) A polled tree; a pollard.
- See also Thesaurus:husband
- (transitive) To manage or administer carefully and frugally; use to the best advantage; economise.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iv]:
- And for my meanes, I'll husband them so well,
They shall go farre with little.
- (transitive) To conserve.
- (transitive, obsolete) To till; cultivate; farm; nurture.
- 1672 May 29 (Gregorian calendar), John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 19 May 1672]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […], volume I, 2nd edition, London: Henry Colburn, […]; and sold by John and Arthur Arch, […], published 1819, OCLC 976971842:
- Land so trim and rarely husbanded.
- (transitive) To provide with a husband.
- 1599 (first performance), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene i], page 116, column 2:
- Thinke you, I am no ſtronger then my Sex
Being ſo Father'd, and ſo Husbanded?
- (transitive) To engage or act as a husband to; assume the care of or responsibility for; accept as one's own.
husband (plural husbands)
- Alternative form of
|Declension of husband|