Meaning of “housewife” in the English Dictionary

"housewife" in British English

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housewifenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈhaʊs.waɪf/ us /ˈhaʊs.waɪf/ plural housewives

A2 a woman whose work is inside the home, doing the cleaning, cooking, etc., and who usually does not have any other job


  • She's not the type of person to stay at home and be a housewife.
  • A group of housewives stood chatting outside the butcher's shop.
  • All of these modern appliances undoubtedly make life easier for today's housewife.
  • After her degree and an impressive early career, she felt angry that he described her as a housewife.
  • Molly had only ever dreamed of being a mother and a housewife, and she took great pride in that role.
adjective uk /ˈhaʊs.waɪ us /ˈhaʊs.waɪ

(Definition of “housewife” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"housewife" in American English

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housewifenoun [ C ]

us /ˈhɑʊsˌwɑɪf/ plural -wives /ˈhɑʊsˌwɑɪvz/

someone who manages a home and family instead of earning money from employment

(Definition of “housewife” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)