Definition of housewife in English:


Syllabification: house·wife
Pronunciation: /ˈhousˌwīf

noun (plural housewives)

  • 1A married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework.
    More example sentences
    • If a black housewife, your main consideration will be how you are going to feed a hungry family of six or seven people when your husband's out of work.
    • Adverts showing a housewife doing the family wash seem old - fashioned, but familiar.
    • I am a housewife raising a family, paying a mortgage and doing the usual things that people do.
  • 2 A small case for needles, thread, and other small sewing items.
    More example sentences
    • My partner also has his "housewife" from National Service in the RAF in the 1950s, mostly spent in Egypt.
    • A typical sewing kit or "housewife" contained needles, thread, buttons, scissors, etc. for that purpose.



More example sentences
  • In previous eras girls usually followed a distinctive curriculum, such as the polite accomplishments or the housewifely curriculum or cultural studies or domestic science courses.
  • She recalls her mother's initial disappointment when she abandoned architecture to take up cooking - a career that had a housewifely ring to it.
  • Then there are the usual housewifely chores - planning the menu, getting odd jobs done around the house.


Pronunciation: /-ˌwīfərē/
More example sentences
  • She turned her attention to the domestic work of housewifery, besides continuing her literary efforts at revising her writings.
  • The latter proclaims that it educates future leaders in a noble tradition when in fact it ushers future leaders' wives into the art of housewifery.
  • People, mostly women, felt suddenly obliged to ignite their creativity with their housewifery.


Middle English husewif (see house, wife).

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