the act of cleaning a house, room, etc., and its furnishings, especially the act of cleaning thoroughly and completely.
the act of improving or reforming by weeding out excess or corrupt personnel or of revising methods of operation.

Origin of housecleaning

First recorded in 1860–65; house + cleaning



verb (used with object)

to subject (a house, room, etc.) to housecleaning.

verb (used without object)

to engage in housecleaning.

Origin of houseclean

First recorded in 1860–65; back formation from housecleaning
Related formshouse·clean·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for housecleaning

Contemporary Examples of housecleaning

Historical Examples of housecleaning

  • The men agreed that housecleaning was all right—after it was over.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • But in spite of himself he was compelled to share in the housecleaning.

    At Plattsburg

    Allen French

  • There are a few words on this last point in the chapter on housecleaning.

  • Why could not they be told plainly that there are no housecleaning days in the tenderloin?

    Windy McPherson's Son

    Sherwood Anderson

  • Rested and refreshed, they all returned promptly to their housecleaning.

    Dandelion Cottage

    Carroll Watson Rankin