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[noun wair-hous; verb wair-houz, -hous] /noun ˈwɛərˌhaʊs; verb ˈwɛərˌhaʊz, -ˌhaʊs/
noun, plural warehouses
[wair-hou-ziz] /ˈwɛərˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA)
a building, or a part of one, for the storage of goods, merchandise, etc.
British. a large retail store.
a building, or a part of one, in which wholesalers keep large stocks of merchandise, which they display and sell to retailers.
verb (used with object), warehoused [wair-houzd] /ˈwɛərˌhaʊzd/ (Show IPA), warehousing [wair-hou-zing] /ˈwɛərˌhaʊ zɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
to place, deposit, or store in a warehouse.
to set aside or accumulate, as for future use.
to place in a government or bonded warehouse, to be kept until duties are paid.
Informal. to confine (the mentally ill) to large institutions for long-term custodial care.
Origin of warehouse
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50; See origin at ware1, house
Related forms
miniwarehouse, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for warehouse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • He was at the warehouse with the earliest clerk and left it with the latest.

  • Then I promptly forgot all about her and ran off into a warehouse where the gang had gone to slide.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • My father's warehouse, too, lost its mystery as I grew older.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • As I drudged on down there in the warehouse, my bitterness became an obsession.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
British Dictionary definitions for warehouse


noun (ˈwɛəˌhaʊs)
a place where goods are stored prior to their use, distribution, or sale
(mainly Brit) a large commercial, esp wholesale, establishment
verb (ˈwɛəˌhaʊz; -ˌhaʊs)
(transitive) to store or place in a warehouse, esp a bonded warehouse
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 warehouse

mid-14c., from ware (n.) + house. Cf. Dutch warenhuis, German warenhaus. Meaning "large impersonal institution" is American English colloquial, first attested 1970.


1799, from warehouse (n.). In the colloquial sense from 1972. Related: Warehoused; warehousing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for warehouse



Any large, impersonal institution: a warehouse for the elds (1970+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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