Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Alternative forms[edit]


From earlier hussive, hussif, the regular evolution of Middle English huswif (housewife), equivalent to house +‎ wife. Modern English housewife is a restoration of the compound (and thus is a doublet), after its component parts had become unrecognisable through purely regular phonetic change.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhʌsi/, /ˈhʌzi/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌsi, Rhymes: -ʌzi


hussy (plural hussies)

  1. (obsolete) A housewife or housekeeper.
    • 1892, Mark Twain, “Act III, Scene I”, in Meisterschaft: In Three Acts, page 199:
      WIRTHIN. Well, I should think so! They just dote on that hussy—can't seem to get enough of her. Gretchen tells me so herself. And the care she takes of them!
  2. A sexually immoral woman.
    • 1887, H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure[1]:
      She called him `pig' in bastard Arabic, and he called her `hussy' in good English, but these amenities were forgotten in the face of the catastrophe that had overwhelmed her at the hands of her Queen.
  3. A cheeky or disrespectful girl; a woman showing inappropriate or improper behavior.
    Synonym: minx
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175:
      Molly the dairymaid came a little way from the rickyard, and said she would pluck the pigeon that very night after work. She was always ready to do anything for us boys; and we could never quite make out why they scolded her so for an idle hussy indoors. It seemed so unjust. Looking back, I recollect she had very beautiful brown eyes.
  4. (obsolete) A case or bag for needles, thread, etc.
    Synonym: housewife

Related terms[edit]