Also at home. a reception of visitors at certain hours at one's home.


done or used in the home; intended for one's home: a new line of at-home computers; at-home assignments for free-lance workers.

Origin of at-home

First recorded in 1740–45




a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
an institution for the homeless, sick, etc.: a nursing home.
the dwelling place or retreat of an animal.
the place or region where something is native or most common.
any place of residence or refuge: a heavenly home.
a person's native place or own country.
(in games) the destination or goal.
a principal base of operations or activities: The new stadium will be the home of the local football team.
Baseball. home plate.
Lacrosse. one of three attack positions nearest the opposing goal.


of, relating to, or connected with one's home or country; domestic: home products.
principal or main: the corporation's home office.
reaching the mark aimed at: a home thrust.
Sports. played in a ball park, arena, or the like, that is or is assumed to be the center of operations of a team: The pitcher didn't lose a single home game all season.Compare away(def 11).


to, toward, or at home: to go home.
deep; to the heart: The truth of the accusation struck home.
to the mark or point aimed at: He drove the point home.
  1. into the position desired; perfectly or to the greatest possible extent: sails sheeted home.
  2. in the proper, stowed position: The anchor is home.
  3. toward its vessel: to bring the anchor home.

verb (used without object), homed, hom·ing.

to go or return home.
(of guided missiles, aircraft, etc.) to proceed, especially under control of an automatic aiming mechanism, toward a specified target, as a plane, missile, or location (often followed by in on): The missile homed in on the target.
to navigate toward a point by means of coordinates other than those given by altitudes.
to have a home where specified; reside.

verb (used with object), homed, hom·ing.

to bring or send home.
to provide with a home.
to direct, especially under control of an automatic aiming device, toward an airport, target, etc.

Origin of home

before 900; Middle English hom, Old English hām (noun and adv.); cognate with Dutch heim, Old Norse heimr, Danish hjem, Swedish hem, German Heim home, Gothic haims village; akin to haunt
Related formsmin·i·home, noun
Can be confusedhome house (see synonym study at house)

Synonyms for home

1. abode, dwelling, habitation; domicile. See house. 2. hearth, fireside. 3. asylum. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for at home



another name for open day
a social gathering in a person's home





the place or a place where one liveshave you no home to go to?
a house or other dwelling
a family or other group living in a house or other place
a person's country, city, etc, esp viewed as a birthplace, a residence during one's early years, or a place dear to one
the environment or habitat of a person or animal
the place where something is invented, founded, or developedthe US is the home of baseball
  1. a building or organization set up to care for orphans, the aged, etc
  2. an informal name for a mental home
sport one's own groundthe match is at home
  1. the objective towards which a player strives in certain sports
  2. an area where a player is safe from attack
  1. one of two positions of play nearest the opponents' goal
  2. a player assigned to such a positioninside home
baseball another name for home plate
NZ informal, obsolete Britain, esp England
a home from home a place other than one's own home where one can be at ease
at home
  1. in one's own home or country
  2. at ease, as if at one's own home
  3. giving an informal party at one's own home
  4. Britishsuch a party
at home in, at home on or at home with familiar or conversant with
home and dry British informal definitely safe or successfulwe will not be home and dry until the votes have been counted Austral. and NZ equivalent: home and hosed
near home concerning one deeply

adjective (usually prenominal)

of, relating to, or involving one's home, country, etc; domestic
(of an activity) done in one's househome taping
effective or deadlya home thrust
sport relating to one's own grounda home game
US central; principalthe company's home office


to or at homeI'll be home tomorrow
to or on the point
to the fullest extenthammer the nail home
(of nautical gear) into or in the best or proper positionthe boom is home
bring home to
  1. to make clear to
  2. to place the blame on
come home nautical (of an anchor) to fail to hold
come home to to become absolutely clear to
nothing to write home about informal to be of no particular interestthe film was nothing to write home about


(intr) (of birds and other animals) to return home accurately from a distance
(often foll by on or onto) to direct or be directed onto a point or target, esp by automatic navigational aids
to send or go home
to furnish with or have a home
(intr; often foll by in or in on) to be directed towards a goal, target, etc
Derived Formshomelike, adjective

Word Origin for home

Old English hām; related to Old Norse heimr, Gothic haims, Old High German heim, Dutch heem, Greek kōmi village
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 at home



Old English ham "dwelling, house, estate, village," from Proto-Germanic *haimaz (cf. Old Frisian hem "home, village," Old Norse heimr "residence, world," heima "home," Danish hjem, Middle Dutch heem, German heim "home," Gothic haims "village"), from PIE root *tkei- "to settle, dwell, be home" (cf. Sanskrit kseti "abides, dwells," Armenian shen "inhabited," Greek kome, Lithuanian kaimas "village;" Old Church Slavonic semija "domestic servants").

'Home' in the full range and feeling of [Modern English] home is a conception that belongs distinctively to the word home and some of its Gmc. cognates and is not covered by any single word in most of the IE languages. [Buck]

Home stretch (1841) is originally a reference from horse racing. Home base in baseball attested by 1859 (home plate by 1867; home as the goal in a sport or game is from 1778). Home economics first attested 1899. Slang phrase make (oneself) at home "become comfortable in a place one does not live" dates from 1892. To keep the home fires burning is from a song title from 1914. To be nothing to write home about "unremarkable" is from 1907. Home movie is from 1919; home computer is from 1967.



"reception of visitors," 1745, from phrase at home.



1765, "to go home," from home (n.). Meaning "be guided to a destination by radio signals, etc. (of missiles, aircraft, etc.) is from 1920; it had been used earlier in reference to pigeons (1862). Related: Homed; homing. Old English had hamian "to establish in a home."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with at home

at home


In one's own residence, town, or country. For example, Mary was not at home when I called, or Tourists in a foreign country often behave more rudely than they do at home. This idiom was first recorded in a ninth-century treatise.


Ready to receive a visitor, as in We are always at home to our neighbor's children. This usage gave rise to the noun at-home, meaning a reception to which guests are invited on a specific day at specific hours (also see open house). [c. 1600]


Also, at home with. Comfortable and familiar, as in Mary always makes us feel at home, or I've never been at home with his style of management. [Early 1500s] Also see at ease, def. 1.


Also, at home with. Proficient, well-versed in, as in Young John is so much at home with numbers that he may well become a mathematician, or Chris is really at home in French. [Late 1700s]


In team sports, playing on one's own field or in one's own town. For example, The Red Sox always do better at home than they do at away games.


In addition to the idioms beginning with home

  • home free
  • home in on
  • home run
  • home truth

also see:

  • at home
  • bring home
  • bring home the bacon
  • chickens come home to roost
  • close to home

Drive Homeeat someone out of house and homemake oneself at homenobody homenothing to write home abouttill the cows come home.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.