[ noun, adjective hous; verb houz ]
See synonyms for house on
noun,plural hous·es [hou-ziz]. /ˈhaʊ zɪz/.
  1. a building in which people live; residence for human beings.

  2. a household.

  1. (often initial capital letter) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of France; the House of Hapsburg.

  2. a building for any purpose: a house of worship.

  3. a theater, concert hall, or auditorium: a vaudeville house.

  4. the audience of a theater or the like.

  5. a place of shelter for an animal, bird, etc. (usually used in combination): a doghouse.

  6. the building in which a legislative or official deliberative body meets.

  7. House, the body itself, especially of a bicameral legislature: the House of Representatives.

  8. a quorum of such a body.

  9. (often initial capital letter) a commercial establishment; business firm: the House of Rothschild; a publishing house.

  10. a gambling casino.

  11. the management of a commercial establishment or of a gambling casino: rules of the house.

  12. an advisory or deliberative group, especially in church or college affairs.

  13. a college in an English-type university.

  14. a residential hall in a college or school; dormitory.

  15. the members or residents of any such residential hall.

  16. Informal. a brothel; whorehouse.

  17. British. a variety of lotto or bingo played with paper and pencil, especially by soldiers as a gambling game.

  18. Also called parish .Curling. the area enclosed by a circle 12 or 14 feet (3.7 or 4.2 meters) in diameter at each end of the rink, having the tee in the center.

  19. Nautical. any enclosed shelter above the weather deck of a vessel: bridge house; deck house.

  20. Astrology. one of the 12 divisions of the celestial sphere, numbered counterclockwise from the point of the eastern horizon.

verb (used with object),housed [houzd], /haʊzd/, hous·ing [hou-zing]. /ˈhaʊ zɪŋ/.
  1. to put or receive into a house, dwelling, or living quarters: More than 200 students were housed in the dormitory.

  2. to give shelter to; harbor; lodge: to house flood victims in schools.

  1. to provide with a place to work, study, or the like: This building houses our executive staff.

  2. to provide storage space for; be a receptacle for or repository of: The library houses 600,000 books.

  3. to remove from exposure; put in a safe place.

  4. Nautical.

    • to stow securely.

    • to lower (an upper mast) and make secure, as alongside the lower mast.

    • to heave (an anchor) home.

  5. Carpentry.

    • to fit the end or edge of (a board or the like) into a notch, hole, or groove.

    • to form (a joint) between two pieces of wood by fitting the end or edge of one into a dado of the other.

verb (used without object),housed [houzd], /haʊzd/, hous·ing [hou-zing]. /ˈhaʊ zɪŋ/.
  1. to take shelter; dwell.

  1. of, relating to, or noting a house.

  2. for or suitable for a house: house paint.

  1. served by a restaurant as its customary brand: the house wine.

  2. of or being a product made by or for a specific retailer and often sold under the store's own label: You'll save money on the radio if you buy the house brand.

Idioms about house

  1. bring down the house, to call forth vigorous applause from an audience; be highly successful: The children's performances brought down the house.

  2. clean house. clean (def. 47).

  1. dress the house, Theater.

    • to fill a theater with many people admitted on free passes; paper the house.

    • to arrange or space the seating of patrons in such a way as to make an audience appear larger or a theater or nightclub more crowded than it actually is.

  2. keep house, to maintain a home; manage a household.

  3. like a house on fire / afire, very quickly; with energy or enthusiasm: The new product took off like a house on fire.

  4. on the house, as a gift from the management; free: Tonight the drinks are on the house.

  5. put / set one's house in order,

    • to settle one's affairs.

    • to improve one's behavior or correct one's faults: It is easy to criticize others, but it would be better to put one's own house in order first.

Origin of house

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun h(o)us, hous(s)e, Old English hūs; cognate with Dutch huis, Low German huus, Old Norse hūs, German Haus, Gothic -hūs (in gudhūs “temple”); the verb is derivative of the noun

synonym study For house

1. House, dwelling, residence, home are terms applied to a place to live in. Dwelling is now chiefly poetic, or used in legal or technical contexts, as in a lease or in the phrase multiple dwelling. Residence is characteristic of formal usage and often implies size and elegance of structure and surroundings: the private residence of the king. These two terms and house have always had reference to the structure to be lived in. Home has recently taken on this meaning and become practically equivalent to house, the new meaning tending to crowd out the older connotations of family ties and domestic comfort. See also hotel.

Other words for house

Other words from house

  • sub·house, noun
  • well-housed, adjective

Words that may be confused with house

  • home, house (see synonym study at the current entry)

Words Nearby house

Other definitions for House (2 of 2)

[ hous ]

  1. Edward Man·dell [man-dl], /ˈmæn dl/, "Colonel House", 1858–1938, U.S. diplomat.

  2. Son [suhn], /sʌn/, Eddie James House, Jr., 1902–88, U.S. blues singer and guitarist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use house in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for house (1 of 2)


noun(haʊs) plural houses (ˈhaʊzɪz)
    • a building used as a home; dwelling

    • (as modifier): house dog

  1. the people present in a house, esp its usual occupants

    • a building used for some specific purpose

    • (in combination): a schoolhouse

  1. (often capital) a family line including ancestors and relatives, esp a noble one: the House of York

    • a commercial company; firm: a publishing house

    • (as modifier): house style; a house journal

  2. an official deliberative or legislative body, such as one chamber of a bicameral legislature

  3. a quorum in such a body (esp in the phrase make a house)

  4. a dwelling for a religious community

  5. astrology any of the 12 divisions of the zodiac: See also planet (def. 3)

    • any of several divisions, esp residential, of a large school

    • (as modifier): house spirit

    • a hotel, restaurant, bar, inn, club, etc, or the management of such an establishment

    • (as modifier): house rules

    • (in combination): steakhouse

  6. (modifier) (of wine) sold unnamed by a restaurant, at a lower price than wines specified on the wine list: the house red

  7. the audience in a theatre or cinema

  8. an informal word for brothel

  9. a hall in which an official deliberative or legislative body meets

  10. curling the 12-foot target circle around the tee

  11. nautical any structure or shelter on the weather deck of a vessel

  12. bring the house down theatre to win great applause

  13. house and home an emphatic form of home

  14. keep open house to be always ready to provide hospitality

  15. like a house on fire informal very well, quickly, or intensely

  16. on the house (usually of drinks) paid for by the management of the hotel, bar, etc

  17. put one's house in order to settle or organize one's affairs

  18. safe as houses British very secure

  1. (tr) to provide with or serve as accommodation

  2. to give or receive shelter or lodging

  1. (tr) to contain or cover, esp in order to protect

  2. (tr) to fit (a piece of wood) into a mortise, joint, etc

  3. (tr) nautical

    • to secure or stow

    • to secure (a topmast)

    • to secure and stow (an anchor)

Origin of house

Old English hūs; related to Old High German hūs, Gothic gudhūs temple, Old Norse hūs house

Derived forms of house

  • houseless, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for House (2 of 2)


/ (haʊs) /

nounthe House
  1. British informal the Stock Exchange

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with house


In addition to the idiom beginning with house

  • house of cards

also see:

  • boardinghouse reach
  • bring down the house
  • clean house
  • eat someone out of house and home
  • get on (like a house afire)
  • keep house
  • on the house
  • open house
  • people who live in glass houses
  • put one's house in order
  • safe as houses

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