[ hou-zing ]
/ ˈhaʊ zɪŋ /


Origin of housing

First recorded in 1250–1300, housing is from the Middle English word husing. See house, -ing1

Definition for housing (2 of 3)


[ hou-zing ]
/ ˈhaʊ zɪŋ /


a covering of cloth for the back and flanks of a horse or other animal, for protection or ornament.
housings. the trappings on a horse.

Origin of housing

1635–45; compare earlier house, Middle English hous(e), houc(e) in same sense < Old French houce < Germanic *hulfti- (compare Medieval Latin hultia), akin to Middle Dutch hulfte cover for bow and arrow, Middle High German hulft covering; -ing1 added by association with house, housing1

Definition for housing (3 of 3)

Origin of house

before 900; (noun) Middle English h(o)us, Old English hūs; cognate with Dutch huis, Low German huus, Old Norse hūs, German Haus, Gothic -hūs (in gudhūs temple); (v.) Middle English housen, Old English hūsian, derivative of the noun


1 domicile. 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.

Related forms

sub·house, nounwell-housed, adjective

Can be confused

home house (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for housing

British Dictionary definitions for housing (1 of 4)


/ (ˈhaʊzɪŋ) /


  1. houses or dwellings collectively
  2. (as modifier)a housing problem
the act of providing with accommodation
a hole, recess, groove, or slot made in one wooden member to receive another
a part designed to shelter, cover, contain, or support a component, such as a bearing, or a mechanism, such as a pump or wheela bearing housing; a motor housing; a wheel housing
another word for houseline

British Dictionary definitions for housing (2 of 4)


/ (ˈhaʊzɪŋ) /


(often plural) archaic another word for trappings (def. 2)

Word Origin for housing

C14: from Old French houce covering, of Germanic origin

British Dictionary definitions for housing (3 of 4)


/ (haʊs) /

noun the House

British informal the Stock Exchange

British Dictionary definitions for housing (4 of 4)


noun (haʊs) plural houses (ˈhaʊzɪz)

verb (haʊz)

Derived Forms

houseless, adjective

Word Origin for house

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

Idioms and Phrases with housing


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.