Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "goodwife" [good•wife]

  • Archaic The female head of a household. (noun)
  • Archaic Used formerly as a courtesy title before the surname of a married woman not of noble birth. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "goodwife" in a sentence
  • "There’s always a woman who weaves beautifully, a goodwife who can dye like a dream, and maybe even a spinning wheel."
  • "He finally managed to purchase a day-old loaf from a baker and some cheese from a village goodwife the baker had recommended."
  • "Rather than being a term for a “goodwife,” it now means someone who is too prim and proper to be real."