noun, plural flop·hous·es [flop-hou-ziz] /ˈflɒpˌhaʊ zɪz/.

a cheap, run-down hotel or rooming house.


Origin of flophouse

First recorded in 1890–95; flop + house
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for flophouse



US and Canadian slang a cheap lodging house, esp one used by trampsAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): dosshouse
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 flophouse

"cheap hotel," hobo slang, 1904, probably related to slang flop (v.) "lie down for sleep" (1907); see flop (v.) + house (n.).

In one of [Cincinnati's] slum districts stands the Silver Moon, a "flop house" (i.e., a house where the occupants are "flopped" out of their hanging bunks by letting down the ropes) .... ["McClure's" magazine, November 1904]

(But this explanation is not found in other early references.)

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper