huswife

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

huswife (plural huswifes or huswives)

  1. (obsolete) A housewife.
  2. (obsolete) A worthless woman; a hussy.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Symptomes of Iealousie, Fear, Sorrow, Suspition, Strange Actions, Gestures, Outrages, Locking Up, Oathes, Trials, Lawes, &c.”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy. What It Is, with All the Kindes Causes, Symptomes, Prognostickes, & Seuerall Cures of It. In Three Partitions, with Their Severall Sections, Members & Subsections. Philosophically, Medicinally, Historically, Opened and Cut Up, by Democritus Iunior, with a Satyricall Preface, Conducing to the Following Discourse, 5th corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed [by Robert Young, Miles Flesher, and Leonard Lichfield and William Turner] by Henry Cripps, 1638, OCLC 932915040, partition 3, section 3, member 2, subsection 1, page 610:
      He cals her on a ſudden, all to naught; ſhe is a ſtrumpet, a light huswife, a bitch, an arrant whore.
  3. A small case containing needles, scissors, thread, and other sewing things.

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.