[hous-broh-kuh n]


(of a pet) trained to avoid excreting inside the house or in improper places.

Origin of housebroken

First recorded in 1895–1900; house + broken



verb (used with object), house·broke, house·bro·ken, house·break·ing.

to train (a pet) to excrete outdoors or in a specific place.

Origin of housebreak

First recorded in 1895–1900; house + break Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for housebroken

Historical Examples of housebroken

  • He would consider himself hell on the women until snared and housebroken by some broad-beamed breeder who knew what she wanted.

  • Of course, it'll be harder gettin' 'em housebroken if you don't let 'em into the house, but I'll guarantee you'll do it.

    The Dogs of Boytown

    Walter A. Dyer

  • This is a quickie Rum Tum Tiddy, without any onion, a poor, housebroken version of the original.

    The Complete Book of Cheese

    Robert Carlton Brown

Word Origin and History for housebroken



1820, "to break into a house criminally;" see house (n.) + break (v.). Perhaps a back-formation from housebreaker, attested from mid-14c. Sense of "to train a domestic animal to be clean in the house" is from 1881. Related: Housebreaking; housebroken.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper