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workhouse

[wurk-hous]
noun, plural work·hous·es [wurk-hou-ziz] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊ zɪz/.
  1. a house of correction.
  2. British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
  3. Obsolete. a workshop.
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Origin of workhouse

before 1100; Middle English werkhous, Old English weorchūs workshop. See work, house
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for workhouse

Historical Examples of workhouse

  • But if you tell the truth and say he's the decent fellow he is, he'll land you in the workhouse!

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • In this agreeable frame of mind I entered the workhouse of Liverpool.

  • I turned to the master of the workhouse, and asked him whether the men had any money?

  • But he was out on the pavement and getting into the workhouse van.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • Then I shall be able, without a qualm, to send Godfrey to the workhouse.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham


British Dictionary definitions for workhouse

workhouse

noun
  1. (formerly in England) an institution maintained at public expense where able-bodied paupers did unpaid work in return for food and accommodation
  2. (in the US) a prison for petty offenders serving short sentences at manual labour
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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