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See more synonyms for cottage on Thesaurus.com
  1. a small house, usually of only one story.
  2. a small, modest house at a lake, mountain resort, etc., owned or rented as a vacation home.
  3. one of a group of small, separate houses, as for patients at a hospital, guests at a hotel, or students at a boarding school.
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Origin of cottage

1350–1400; Middle English cotage. See cot2, -age; compare Medieval Latin cotagium, apparently < Anglo-French
Related formscot·taged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for cottage

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • From sea to sea there was stringing of bows in the cottage and clang of steel in the castle.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • This cottage is smaller than its neighbor, and its wooden door is quite black from age.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • Just as she opened the door of Andrew's cottage, Wiseli came out of the sitting-room.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • They were a very depressed lot at Dixon's cottage that evening.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Dixon had a cottage there, which he occupied with his wife, and Allis was to stop with them.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for cottage


  1. a small simple house, esp in a rural area
  2. US and Canadian a small house in the country or at a resort, used for holiday purposes
  3. US one of several housing units, as at a hospital, for accommodating people in groups
  4. slang a public lavatory
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Word Origin

C14: from cot ²
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 cottage


late 13c., from Old French cote "hut, cottage" + Anglo-French suffix -age (probably denoting "the entire property attached to a cote"). Old French cot is probably from Old Norse kot "hut," cognate of Old English cot, cote "cottage, hut," from Proto-Germanic *kutan (cf. Middle Dutch cot, Dutch kot).

Meaning "small country residence" (without suggestion of poverty or tenancy) is from 1765. Modern French cottage is a 19c. reborrowing from English. Cottage industry is attested from 1921. Cottage cheese is attested from 1831, American English, earliest in reference to Philadelphia:

There was a plate of rye-bread, and a plate of wheat, and a basket of crackers; another plate with half a dozen paltry cakes that looked as if they had been bought under the old Court House; some morsels of dried beef on two little tea-cup plates: and a small glass dish of that preparation of curds, which in vulgar language is called smear-case, but whose nom de guerre is cottage-cheese, at least that was the appellation given it by our hostess. ["Miss Leslie," "Country Lodgings," Godey's "Lady's Book," July 1831]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper