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[hous-klee-ning] /ˈhaʊsˌkli nɪŋ/
the act of cleaning a house, room, etc., and its furnishings, especially the act of cleaning thoroughly and completely.
the act of improving or reforming by weeding out excess or corrupt personnel or of revising methods of operation.
Origin of housecleaning
First recorded in 1860-65; house + cleaning


[hous-kleen] /ˈhaʊsˌklin/
verb (used with object)
to subject (a house, room, etc.) to housecleaning.
verb (used without object)
to engage in housecleaning.
First recorded in 1860-65; back formation from housecleaning
Related forms
housecleaner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for housecleaning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The men agreed that housecleaning was all right—after it was over.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • But in spite of himself he was compelled to share in the housecleaning.

    At Plattsburg

    Allen French
  • There are a few words on this last point in the chapter on housecleaning.

  • Why could not they be told plainly that there are no housecleaning days in the tenderloin?

    Windy McPherson's Son Sherwood Anderson
  • Rested and refreshed, they all returned promptly to their housecleaning.

    Dandelion Cottage Carroll Watson Rankin
  • Following our own housecleaning, the Eskimos had one on June 12.

    The North Pole Robert E. Peary
  • The doctor always groaned when he got the first glimpse of housecleaning, and gave a sigh of relief when it was over.

  • To put discontent away from her and to keep her thoughts occupied she began the spring housecleaning.

    The Wind Before the Dawn Dell H. Munger
  • Behind the kitchen door usually, but with the house all torn up with housecleaning, I don't know where it is.

    Billy Whiskers' Adventures Frances Trego Montgomery

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