• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Goodwife The mistress of a house.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n goodwife The mistress of a household; woman of the house: correlative of goodman.
    • ***


In literature:

The goodwife was busy over the cooking-lamp.
"Red Rooney" by R.M. Ballantyne
Humphry Swallow, a drunken Cob Goodwife Spiggot, an Ale-wife.
"Christmas: Its Origin and Associations" by William Francis Dawson
Sit you down, and goodwife Billington set on some beer for our guest.
"Standish of Standish" by Jane G. Austin
Miss Mary would make it all the more melancholy with her weeping over the goodwife of Ladyfield.
"Gilian The Dreamer" by Neil Munro
A little beyond, at the door of the best room, half in and half out, stood the goodwife Brown and her daughter.
"John Splendid" by Neil Munro
It was usually placed in the kitchen, and upon it slept goodman and goodwife.
"Customs and Fashions in Old New England" by Alice Morse Earle
Two undertake to personate a goodman and a goodwife; the rest a family of marriageable daughters.
"Children's Rhymes, Children's Games, Children's Songs, Children's Stories" by Robert Ford
Now what shall I say or write unto you & your goodwife my loving sister?
"Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation'" by William Bradford
Goodwife Wright stood accused of such powers in the colony's general court on September 11, 1626.
"Medicine in Virginia, 1607-1699" by Thomas P. Hughes
Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly?
"A Manual of the Art of Fiction" by Clayton Hamilton
Did not goodwife Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me gossip Quickly?
"Materials and Methods of Fiction" by Clayton Hamilton
Goodwife Rose "ducked," probably by officials.
"A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718" by Wallace Notestein
Now Goodwife Johnson's Impe is come!
"Witch Stories" by E. Lynn (Elizabeth Lynn) Linton
I would speak with Goodwife Kendall for a space.
"Maid Sally" by Harriet A. Cheever
The goodwife was at the door, and watched him come up.
"Sophia" by Stanley J. Weyman
Goodwife Parmenter, however, died in 1683, in full possession of the warming pan, the widow of the third husband.
"The Loyalists of Massachusetts" by James H. Stark
And, goodwife, you should presently get that wench to bed.
"The Catholic World; Volume I, Issues 1-6" by E. Rameur
The goodwife stood behind her servants, and gave all their portions.
"The Three Perils of Man, Vol. 2 (of 3)" by James Hogg
And, goodwife, you should presently get that wench to bed.
"Constance Sherwood" by Lady Georgiana Fullerton
The goodwife's sole spiritual guide had vanished away.
"The Brownie of Bodsbeck, and Other Tales (Vol. 1 of 2)" by James Hogg

In poetry:

"Sit ye down, and dry and warm ye, for the night
is chill with rain."
And the goodwife drew the settle, and stirred the
fire amain.
"Mary Garvin" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Then said the one unto the other,
“Here, man, tak ye my knife;
Do ye tak aff the auld man’s beard,
And I ’ll kiss the goodwife.”
"Get Up and Bar the Door" by Anonymous British
It fell about the Martinmas time,
And a gay time it was then,
When our goodwife got puddings to make,
And she ’s boild them in the pan.
"Get Up and Bar the Door" by Anonymous British
From barn and woodpile the goodman came;
The goodwife quitted her quilting frame,
With her child at her breast; and, hobbling slow,
The grandam followed to see the show.
"How The Women Went From Dover" by John Greenleaf Whittier
O true British goodwife, a word in your ear
To help your home-comfort and gladden its cheer,
That husband and children and neighbours and you
May all be more happy and tender and true.
"The Workman's Wife: (A Ballad," by Martin Farquhar Tupper
'When each goodwife, o'er and o'er,
Blessed me as I passed her door;
And the snooded daughter,
Through her casement glancing down,
Smiled on him who bore renown
From red fields of slaughter.
"Barclay Of Ury" by John Greenleaf Whittier