- a house of correction.
- British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
- Obsolete. a workshop.
Origin of workhouse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for workhouse
But if you tell the truth and say he's the decent fellow he is, he'll land you in the workhouse!The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
In this agreeable frame of mind I entered the workhouse of Liverpool.
I turned to the master of the workhouse, and asked him whether the men had any money?
But he was out on the pavement and getting into the workhouse van.The Christian
Then I shall be able, without a qualm, to send Godfrey to the workhouse.The Red Hand of Ulster
George A. Birmingham
- (formerly in England) an institution maintained at public expense where able-bodied paupers did unpaid work in return for food and accommodation
- (in the US) a prison for petty offenders serving short sentences at manual labour
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