a married woman who manages her own household, especially as her principal occupation.
British. a sewing box; a small case or box for needles, thread, etc.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
Archaic. to manage with efficiency and economy, as a household.
Origin: 1175–1225; Middle English hus
Can be confused: homemaker
(see usage note at the current entry).
1. Housewife is offensive to some, perhaps because of an implied contrast with career woman (just a housewife) and perhaps because it defines an occupation in terms of a woman's relation to a man. Homemaker is a common substitute.