• Husband

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /ˈhʌzbənd/

    Origin

    From Middle English husbonde, from Old English hūsbonda, hūsbunda ("male head of a household, householder, master of a house"), probably from Old Norse húsbóndi ("master of house"), from hús ("house") + bóndi ("dweller, householder"), equivalent to house + bond("serf, slave").

    Rather not bond = serf, but present participle of WestScand. búa, EastScand. bôa = to build, to plow; cf. German bauen, der Bauende. Cognate with Icelandic húsbóndi ("head of household"), Faroese húsbóndi ("husband"), Norwegian husbond ("head of household, husband"), Swedish husbonde ("master"), Danish husbonde ("husband").

    Full definition of husband

    Noun

    husband

    (plural husbands)
    1. (obsolete) The master of a house; the head of a family; a householder.
    2. (obsolete) A tiller of the ground; a husbandman.
      • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.3:a withered tree, through husbands toyle,
        Is often seene full freshly to have florisht ...
      • unknown date Hakewillthe painful husband, ploughing up his ground
      • unknown date John Evelyn (1620-1706)He is the neatest husband for curious ordering his domestick and field accommodations.
    3. (archaic) A prudent or frugal manager.
      • unknown date Henry Blake Fuller (1857-1929)God knows how little time is left me, and may I be a good husband, to improve the short remnant left me.
    4. A man in a marriage or marital relationship, especially in relation to his spouse.
      You should start dating so you can find a suitable husband.
      • unknown date William Blackstone (1723-1780)The husband and wife are one person in law.
      • 1922, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 6, But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
    5. The male of a pair of animals.
    6. (UK) A manager of property; one who has the care of another's belongings, owndom, or interests; a steward; an economist.
    7. A large cushion with arms meant to support a person in the sitting position.
      While reading her book, Sally leaned back against her husband, wishing it were the human kind.
    8. (UK dialectal) A polled tree; a pollard.

    Synonyms

    Antonyms

    Hypernyms

    Verb

    1. (transitive) To manage or administer carefully and frugally; use to the best advantage; economise.For my means, I'll husband them so well,
      They shall go far.
      — Shakespeare.
    2. (transitive) To conserve.
      • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe...I found pens, ink, and paper, and I husbanded them to the utmost; and I shall show that while my ink lasted, I kept things very exact, but after that was gone I could not, for I could not make any ink by any means that I could devise.
    3. (transitive, obsolete) To till; cultivate; farm; nurture.
      • unknown date EvelynLand so trim and rarely husbanded.
    4. (transitive) To provide with a husband.
    5. (transitive) To engage or act as a husband to; assume the care of or responsibility for; accept as one's own.
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