Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A man joined to another person in marriage; a male spouse.
  • noun Chiefly British A manager or steward, as of a household.
  • noun Archaic A prudent, thrifty manager.
  • transitive verb To use sparingly or economically; conserve.
  • transitive verb Archaic To become a husband to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To manage or administer carefully and frugally; use to the best advantage; economize: as, to husband one's resources.
  • To till, as land; cultivate; farm.
  • To provide with a husband.
  • To engage or act as a husband to; figuratively, to assume the care of or responsibility for; accept as one's own.
  • noun The master of a house; the head of a family; a householder.
  • noun A man joined in marriage to a woman, who bears the correlative title of wife.
  • noun A tiller of the ground; a husbandman.
  • noun A manager of property; one who has the care of another's belongings or interests; a steward; an economist.
  • noun A polled tree; a pollard: so called in humorous allusion to the traditional bald head of husbands with energetic wives.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The male head of a household; one who orders the economy of a family.
  • noun obsolete A cultivator; a tiller; a husbandman.
  • noun rare One who manages or directs with prudence and economy; a frugal person; an economist.
  • noun A married man; a man who has a wife; -- the correlative to wife.
  • noun rare The male of a pair of animals.
  • noun (Naut.) an agent representing the owners of a ship, who manages its expenses and receipts.
  • transitive verb To direct and manage with frugality; to use or employ to good purpose and the best advantage; to spend, apply, or use, with economy.
  • transitive verb rare To cultivate, as land; to till.
  • transitive verb rare To furnish with a husband.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To manage or administer carefully and frugally; use to the best advantage; economise.
  • verb transitive To conserve.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To till; cultivate; farm; nurture.
  • verb transitive To provide with a husband.
  • verb transitive To engage or act as a husband to; assume the care of or responsibility for; accept as one's own.
  • noun obsolete The master of a house; the head of a family; a householder.
  • noun obsolete A tiller of the ground; a husbandman.
  • noun archaic A prudent or frugal manager.
  • noun A man in a marriage or marital relationship, especially in relation to his spouse.
  • noun UK A manager of property; one who has the care of another's belongings, owndom, or interests; a steward; an economist.
  • noun Large cushion with arms meant to support a person in the sitting position.
  • noun A polled tree; a pollard.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a married man; a woman's partner in marriage
  • verb use cautiously and frugally

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English huseband, from Old English hūsbōnda, from Old Norse hūsbōndi : hūs, house + bōndi, būandi, householder, present participle of būa, to dwell; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English husbonden, from husbonde ("master of a house"). See above.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English husbonde, from Old English hūsbonda, hūsbunda ("male head of a household, householder, master of a house"), probably from Old Norse húsbóndi ("master of house"), from hús ("house") + bóndi ("dweller, householder"), equivalent to house +‎ bond (“serf, slave”). Cognate with Icelandic húsbóndi ("head of household"), Faroese húsbóndi ("husband"), Norwegian husbond ("head of household, husband"), Swedish husbonde ("master"), Danish husbonde ("husband").

Examples

Comments

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  • Continuing the conversation that has, bewilderingly, popped up over on pterodactyl on the rise...

    I really don't like the word husband. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss character.

    As Yertle looked out over lands never seen,

    He saw thousands of Huzz-Buns, all mottled and green

    Wife, by contrast, is airy and pleasant, rather like fife or life. Why couldn't we menfolk have come up with an equally pleasant term for our own married state?

    May 7, 2008

  • I'd probably marry the next woman who promised not to call me hubby in this or the subsequent thousand lifetimes.

    May 7, 2008

  • "Hubby" should be banned; I agree.

    May 7, 2008

  • I sort of like hubby, actually. I think it's sweet.

    May 7, 2008

  • In my opinion, "hubby" is no good. I would never call my husband that. It's like him calling me his "gal". We prefer "lover".

    May 7, 2008

  • How about 'helpmate'? 'Lover' conjures up images of perpetually mortified children, not to mention jacuzzi scenes on Saturday Night Live.

    May 7, 2008

  • I defer to sionnach; "helpmate" IS better. And I like the biblical tone it lends.

    May 8, 2008

  • Do you realise that if you have a biblical helpmate you can never have children the normal way? You have to begat instead.

    May 8, 2008

  • Ouch, ouch!

    May 8, 2008

  • Helpmate sounds like helpmeet, which sounds like sweetmeat, which always makes me think of sweetbreads. Blech. I mean, sweetbreads are tasty, cooked right, but not very husbandly. To me.

    OK. Sorry. Back to your thread.

    May 8, 2008