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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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1. A female housekeeper; a woman who manages domestic affairs; a thirfty woman. The bounteous huswife nature. The huswife is she that do labour doth fall. (Tusser)

2. A worthless woman; a hussy.

3. [See hussy a bag] a case for sewing materials. See housewife.

Origin: oe. Huswif; hus house _ wif wife. Cf. Hussy a housewife, housewife

alternative forms: housewife.

to manage with frugality; said of a woman.