(redirected from goodwives)


n. pl. good·wives (-wīvz′) Archaic
1. The female head of a household.
2. Goodwife Used formerly as a courtesy title before the surname of a married woman not of noble birth.


n, pl -wives
1. the mistress of a household
2. a woman not of gentle birth: used as a title



n., pl. -wives (-ˌwaɪvz) Archaic.
1. the mistress of a household.
2. (cap.) a title of respect for a woman not of noble birth.
References in classic literature ?
She turned her back, throwing into the basin a silver florin, which rang among the liards, and made the poor goodwives of the chapel of Etienne Haudry open their eyes.
the farmfolk and country dwellers would know me well, the goodwives leaving thick winter woollies by the side of the road, flasks of oxtail soup under hedges.
Because they could fulfill their duties as both Christians and goodwives without writing, such education was considered superfluous, especially for women in lower socioeconomic statuses (Hall 32).
JoyRide Cycle Studio leased 4,207 s/f of retail space at Goodwives Shopping Center in Darien.
1981, 245), and as she is, most explicitly, by the gossipy goodwives waiting at the prison door.
Literate clergymen dominate the more detailed stories, but Moore also offers tantalizing glimpses of the motivations of merchants, artisans, yeomen, and goodwives.
The members seated at the "Laundry Maids' Table" were, besides Grace Robinson, Mrs Judith and Mrs Grace Simpton, obviously two gentlewomen overseeing the laundry; Penelope Tutty, the maid of Margaret Sackville, Lady Anne's eldest daughter; Anne Mills, the dairymaid; the two goodwives Burton and Small; William Lewis, porter; and what must have been the four fellow laundresses of Grace Robinson: Prudence Butcher, Anne Howse, Faith Husband, and Elinor Thompson.
The systematic examination of the learned and humanistic Orbis serves to contrast it all the more sharply with the Primer, a "distinctly provincial, doctrinaire, evangelical" textbook with the pedestrian mission of teaching basic literacy to "generations of shopkeepers and goodwives.
We began with Kathleen Brown's Goodwives, Nasty Wenches and Anxious Patriarchs (University of North Carolina Press, 1996), which definitively establishes the centrality of race and gender to the history of early colonial Virginia.
As the most called - upon midwife in Haverhill, Mary Neff had the most authority of any of the goodwives.
Anne Bradstreet and Sor Juana, the first two figures studied, are poets; the second pair, Anne Hutchinson and Marie de l'Incarnation, are religious activists, a distinction Harvey argues is more useful than the contrast between Puritan goodwives and Catholic nuns.