noun, plural round·hous·es [round-hou-ziz] /ˈraʊndˌhaʊ zɪz/.

a building for the servicing and repair of locomotives, built around a turntable in the form of some part of a circle.
Nautical. a cabin on the after part of a quarterdeck.
Slang. a punch in which the arm is typically brought straight out to the side or rear of the body and in which the fist describes an exaggerated circular motion.
Also called round trip. Pinochle. a meld of one king and queen of each suit.

Origin of roundhouse

First recorded in 1580–90; round1 + house Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for roundhouse

blow, bat, shot, punch, swing, knock, pound, hit, crack, clout, whack, swat, smack, lick, cuff, slap, wallop, strike, thwack, wham

Examples from the Web for roundhouse

Contemporary Examples of roundhouse

Historical Examples of roundhouse

  • I had left the depot in a snow-storm; I reached the roundhouse in a blizzard.

    The Daughter of a Magnate

    Frank H. Spearman

  • You could set your watch by that tune as confidently as by the roundhouse whistle.

    My Antonia

    Willa Cather

  • Ralph waited until they were on their way home from the roundhouse that evening.

    Ralph on the Engine

    Allen Chapman

  • Leaving school, he secured a job in the roundhouse at Stanley Junction.

    Ralph on the Engine

    Allen Chapman

  • They steamed out of the roundhouse and were soon at the head of their freight train.

    Ralph on the Engine

    Allen Chapman

British Dictionary definitions for roundhouse



a circular building in which railway locomotives are serviced or housed, radial tracks being fed by a central turntable
boxing slang
  1. a swinging punch or style of punching
  2. (as modifier)a roundhouse style
pinochle, US a meld of all four kings and queens
an obsolete word for jail
obsolete a cabin on the quarterdeck of a sailing ship
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 roundhouse

also round-house, "lock-up, place of detention," 1580s, from Dutch rondhuis "guardhouse." Meaning "circular shed for locomotives with a turntable in the center" is from 1856. Meaning "blow delivered with a wide sweep of the arm" is perhaps extended from "round building for circular machinery."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper