House"wife`(?), n. [House + wife. Cf. Hussy.] 1. The wife of a householder; the mistress of a family; the female head of a household. Shak.
He a good husband, a good housewife she.Dryden.
2. (Usually pronounced .) [See Hussy, in this sense.] A little case or bag for materials used in sewing, and for other articles of female work; -- called also hussy.
3. A hussy. [R.]
Sailor's housewife, a ditty-bag.
House"wive`(?), } v. t. To manage with skill and economy, as a housewife or other female manager; to economize.
Conferred those moneys on the nuns, which since they have well housewived.Fuller.
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