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on the house

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At the expense of the establishment, as in This hotel serves an afternoon tea that's on the house. This idiom uses house in the sense of “an inn, tavern, or other building serving the public.” [Late 1800s]

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

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