the maintenance of a house or domestic establishment.
the management of household affairs.
the management, care, and servicing of property and equipment of an industrial or commercial building or organization.
the ongoing routine, procedures, operations, and management of a commercial enterprise, government, organization, or the like.
Computers. system tasks, as initialization and managing peripheral devices, that must be done to permit a computer program to execute properly but that do not directly contribute to program output.

Origin of housekeeping

First recorded in 1530–40; house + keeping



verb (used without object), house·kept, house·keep·ing.

to keep or maintain a house.

Origin of housekeep

First recorded in 1835–45; back formation from housekeeping Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for housekeeping

Contemporary Examples of housekeeping

Historical Examples of housekeeping

  • This caretaker was a man, but with all the housekeeping ability of a woman.

  • That's not good for housekeeping; it's foolish waste of time.

  • "The housekeeping is enough," she answered, with her tranquil smile.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • Her housekeeping capacity was not large enough to comprehend them.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • Money had long since been saved to set them up in housekeeping.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for housekeeping



the running of a household
money allocated for the running of a household
organization and tidiness in general, as of an office, shop, etc
the general maintenance of a computer storage system, including removal of obsolete files, documentation, security copying, etc
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 housekeeping

1540s, from house (n.) + present participle of keep (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper