noun, plural alms·hous·es [ahmz-hou-ziz] /ˈɑmzˌhaʊ zɪz/. 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for almshouse

Historical Examples of almshouse

  • He took his way across the fields, so as to reach the Almshouse before his father.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for almshouse



British history a privately supported house offering accommodation to the aged or needy
mainly British 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

Word Origin and History for almshouse

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper