workhouse

[ wurk-hous ]
/ ˈwɜrkˌhaʊs /

noun, plural work·hous·es [wurk-hou-ziz] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊ zɪz/.

a house of correction.
British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
Obsolete. a workshop.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for workhouse

British Dictionary definitions for workhouse

workhouse

/ (ˈwɜːkˌhaʊs) /

noun

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