housewife

[hous-wahyf or, usually, huhz-if for 2]
noun, plural housewives [hous-wahyvz] .
1.
Sometimes Offensive. a married woman who manages her own household, especially as her principal occupation.
2.
British. a sewing box; a small case or box for needles, thread, etc.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), housewifed, housewifing.
3.
Archaic. to manage with efficiency and economy, as a household.

Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English hus(e)wif. See house, wife

homemaker, housewife (see usage note at the current entry).


Most people, married or unmarried, find the term housewife perfectly acceptable. But it is sometimes perceived as insulting, perhaps because it implies a lowly status (“She’s just a housewife”) or because it defines an occupation in terms of a woman's relation to a man. Homemaker is a fairly common substitute.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
housewife (ˈhaʊsˌwaɪf)
 
n , pl -wives
1.  a woman, typically a married woman, who keeps house, usually without having paid employment
2.  chiefly (Brit) hussy, Also called: huswife a small sewing kit issued to soldiers
 
housewifery
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Another octogenarian spent her life as a soft-spoken housewife, contracted
  cancer, and went through chemotherapy.
Legend has it a housewife created the recipe, sent it into a magazine, and won
  a prize.
Better than flocks and herds, being proofs of her skill as a housewife.
The narrative is addressed to the hypothetical absent housewife.
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