schoolwork assigned to be done outside the classroom (distinguished from classwork).
paid work done at home, as piecework.
thorough preparatory study of a subject: to do one's homework for the next committee meeting.

Origin of homework

First recorded in 1675–85; home + work
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for homework

Contemporary Examples of homework

Historical Examples of homework

  • Whenever Philip did his homework, he had to hold the paper down.

  • "I suppose you have your homework all done," he snarled at Cathy.

    Jerry's Charge Account

    Hazel Hutchins Wilson

  • On the one hand, homework for the sake of homework may be eliminated.

    The New Education

    Scott Nearing

  • And this was only a little of the homework with which her hands were ever full.

    Catherine Booth

    Mildred Duff

  • A pile of books on the table indicated that he had just finished his homework.

    Wait for Weight

    Jack McKenty

British Dictionary definitions for homework



school work done out of lessons, esp at home
any preparatory study
work done at home for pay
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 homework

1680s, "work done at home," as opposed to work done in the shop or factory, from home (n.) + work (n.). In sense of "lessons studied at home," it is attested from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with homework


see do one's homework.

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