Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[wurk-hous] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊs/
noun, plural workhouses
[wurk-hou-ziz] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA)
a house of correction.
British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
Obsolete. a workshop.
Origin of workhouse
before 1100; Middle English werkhous, Old English weorchūs workshop. See work, house Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for workhouse
Historical Examples
  • 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.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • I turned to the master of the workhouse, and asked him whether the men had any money?

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • But he was out on the pavement and getting into the workhouse van.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Then I shall be able, without a qualm, to send Godfrey to the workhouse.

    The Red Hand of Ulster George A. Birmingham
  • For some reason he never went home, and died in the workhouse.

  • Above the workhouse about six men armed with pitchforks met us.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
  • Small intention had Jesse Cliffe to return to their protection or their workhouse!

    Jesse Cliffe Mary Russell Mitford
  • Oh, whether there's any chance of your ever going to the workhouse?'

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • This building is certified for 180 children, who are received from the workhouse, etc.

    Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney Geraldine Edith Mitton
British Dictionary definitions for workhouse


(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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for workhouse

Word Value for workhouse

Scrabble Words With Friends