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What Does Malewife Mean? Definition, Meaning and Usage

Over the last few years, there have been a lot of new “slang” words. The urban dictionary lists a lot of these with descriptions, and as they start to trend, you may hear your friends mentioning them. Sometimes, it’s difficult to really understand what they mean – and even when looking at online dictionaries, you may not always find much info.

Today, we turn to one word that has received quite a mixed range of responses: “malewife”. Some think it’s not an appropriate term, while others actually use it.

But, what does ‘Malewife’ mean? And when is it appropriate to use? We’ll take a deeper dive into the term in this post.

Malewife Definition & Meaning: What Exactly Does The Term “Malewife” Mean?

For some, just hearing the word ‘malewife’ would feel cringe. The truth is, there are those who would use the term inappropriately. The meaning can differ from one publication to another. Even amongst human perception, not everyone will perceive the term the same way.

Yet, generally, ‘malewife’ tends to refer to a man who shows feminine features. It is also said that the term applies to situations, where the man in a heterosexual relationship is more like the wife is supposed to be, according to cultural norms.

With this said, there are cases where malewife could also be referring to a man who runs the house. Perhaps the female in the relationship is the one who makes the money, while the man looks after the kids and cooks for the family. This isn’t an uncommon sight in the modern day, especially as the days of men considering to hold more power than women are something of the past.

Similar to many of the other more recent slang terms that have come into existence, malewife can have different meanings. While some may use the term without any negative thought behind it, others could turn to the word with malicious intent.

Is It Appropriate To Use “Malewife”?

Whether it is appropriate to use ‘malewife’ in a sentence depends on many things. In today’s world, there is a consistent urge to stop the world from being sexist. For many years, it was believed that there was a set way for a marriage to be like. The wife was the one to clean up after the husband and the kids. The husband, on the other hand, was the one working hard to bring money to the family.

Terms like malewife might simply reinforce these sexist behaviors. Even when looking at entries for the term on a platform like Urban Dictionary, it’s not hard to see that people have already been using the word in the wrong context. Even ‘malewife memes’ have started to circulate about this term, alongside another word often called sexist, which is “girlboss”.

Thus careful thought needs to go into the appropriateness of the term. When using it, will it be in such a way that it is discriminating against someone else? Or are you using the term to harass or embarrass someone? In these cases, consider malewife an inappropriate term. There are better ways to express an opinion.

On the other hand, when there is consent between two people and malewife is a term that is not discriminating, then it could be considered an appropriate term, given the circumstances allow.

What Are Some Alternatives To the word “Malewife”? Malewife vs House husband

The opinions of people vary, and some may consider malewife to be an unappealing term. It’s also not used commonly, at least not in the modern day. Fortunately, there are alternatives that you can turn to when referring to men in certain positions.

One good example is the term “house husband” or, as some have shortened the term to “houseband”. The term stems from the classic “housewife” – where it was presumed that the wife in a relationship was the one meant to keep things tidy at home, cook for the family, and look after the kids.

With this said, the use of these words really needs to be done so, in the right context. You always have to consider who you are talking to and the circumstances surrounding the environment. There are cases where the husband is called the “househusband”, in which the individual does not have a problem with it. In these cases, however, consent has often been given to avoid a sense of disrespect.


In the modern day, things have changed significantly compared to older times. While there was a time when the norm was the wife kept up the household, and the husband was the breadwinner, this is starting to become less of a standard. In fact, some people would argue that the mere thought of things like this is sexist.

Malewife can mean different things, but many people view it as inappropriate. In the end, however, what you call someone is entirely up to you, given that you get consent in the first place, especially if the term may do more harm than good.

Amna el tawil author digestfromexperts

Amna El Tawil is a professional journalist, reporter, and an Amazon published author living in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated from MIU with a journalism degree and later worked as a reporter and content writer at various news publications. Amna's works have appeared in the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC), the International Herald Tribune, Thomson Reuters, and the BBC. Amna loves researching and has also authored several books on Amazon.