Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A housewife.
  • n. A worthless woman; hussy.
  • n. A small case containing scissors, thread, needles, and other sewing things.
  • v. To manage with frugality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A female housekeeper; a woman who manages domestic affairs; a thirfty woman.
  • n. A worthless woman; a hussy.
  • n. A case for sewing materials. See Housewife.
  • transitive v. To manage with frugality; -- said of a woman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To manage with economy and frugality: said of a woman.
  • n. A housewife.
  • n. A pert, wilful woman or girl; a hussy. See hussy, 2.
  • n. Same as housewife.

Etymologies

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

Examples

  • It contained a huswife completely furnished with needles,

    The Great Hoggarty Diamond

  • I was sure it could not be far off; but I had put my huswife upon it, you see, without being aware, and so it was quite hid, but I had it in my hand so very lately that I was almost sure it must be on the table.

    Emma

  • _I must needs say, that my wife is a shrewe, but such a huswife as I know but a fewe.

    The Arte of English Poesie

  • Shee's any good man's better second selfe, the very mirror of true constant modesty, the carefull huswife of frugalitie, and dearest obiect of man's heart's felicitie.

    Microcosmography or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters

  • Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play the idle huswife with me this afternoon.

    Act I. Scene III. Coriolanus

  • In a place to themselves were other treasures, a daguerreotype of his mother, a capacious huswife that Sairy had made and stocked for him, the little box of paper "to write home on" that had been Tom's present, various trifles that the three had agreed might come in handy.

    The Long Roll

  • In a cottage garden the dog, high on his haunches at the length of his chain, cocked his ears towards the huswife in the wash-house, hoping against hope for a miracle.

    In a Green Shade A Country Commentary

  • Tusser's huswife, warned by the matin cock, called up her maids and men at four in the summer, at five in the winter.

    In a Green Shade A Country Commentary

  • They call thee good huswife -- they love thee likewise.

    In a Green Shade A Country Commentary

  • The roadman straightened himself and leaned upon his mattock; the huswife shut the back door, and the dog crept into his barrel.

    In a Green Shade A Country Commentary

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