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[ahmz-hous] /ˈɑmzˌhaʊs/
noun, plural almshouses
[ahmz-hou-ziz] /ˈɑmzˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA).
Chiefly British.
a house endowed by private charity for the reception and support of the aged or infirm poor.
(formerly) a poorhouse.
Origin of almshouse
First recorded in 1350-1400, almshouse is from the Middle English word almes hous. See alms, house Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for almshouse
Historical Examples
  • He took his way across the fields, so as to reach the almshouse before his father.

    Paul Prescott's Charge Horatio Alger
  • The almshouse could tell the story of a hundred women who married men to reform them.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • On the one side is the palace, on the other are the almshouse and "silent poor."

  • She provides for us an almshouse in which we can take refuge when we are old and weary.

    The Green Carnation

    Robert Smythe Hichens
  • No, that's too grand a comparison; rather, Oxford is like an almshouse for clergymen's widows.

    Loss and Gain John Henry Newman
  • A few years later Charterhouse was converted into an almshouse and a school.

    The History of London Walter Besant
  • "I will give up now, Fitz, and go to the almshouse," sobbed she.

    Make or Break Oliver Optic
  • At this time he had taken Leo from the almshouse, to be her companion in his absence.

    Make or Break Oliver Optic
  • On the other hand, we shall not relegate the old to an almshouse.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • Why, she was preparing to investigate every jail and almshouse in the State of Massachusetts.

    Daughters of the Puritans Seth Curtis Beach
British Dictionary definitions for almshouse


(Brit, history) a privately supported house offering accommodation to the aged or needy
(mainly Brit) another name for poorhouse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for almshouse

mid-15c., from alms + house (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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