Sometimes Offensive. 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), housewifed, housewifing.
Archaic.to manage with efficiency and economy, as a household.
Origin: 1175–1225;Middle Englishhus(e)wif. See house, wife
Can be confused: homemaker, housewife (see usage note at the current entry).
Usage note 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.