from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A structure serving as a dwelling for one or more persons, especially for a family.
  • noun A household or family.
  • noun Something, such as a burrow or shell, that serves as a shelter or habitation for a wild animal.
  • noun A dwelling for a group of people, such as students or members of a religious community, who live together as a unit.
  • noun A building that functions as the primary shelter or location of something.
  • noun A facility, such as a theater or restaurant, that provides entertainment or food for the public.
  • noun The audience or patrons of such an establishment.
  • noun A commercial firm.
  • noun A publishing company.
  • noun A gambling casino.
  • noun Slang A house of prostitution.
  • noun A residential college within a university.
  • noun A legislative or deliberative assembly.
  • noun The hall or chamber in which such an assembly meets.
  • noun A quorum of such an assembly.
  • noun A family line including ancestors and descendants, especially a royal or noble family.
  • noun One of the 12 parts into which the heavens are divided in astrology.
  • noun The sign of the zodiac indicating the seat or station of a planet in the heavens.
  • noun House music.
  • intransitive verb To provide living quarters for; lodge.
  • intransitive verb To shelter, keep, or store in a house or other structure.
  • intransitive verb To fit (something) into a socket or mortise.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To secure or stow safely.
  • intransitive verb To reside; dwell.
  • intransitive verb To take shelter.
  • idiom (on fire/afire) In an extremely speedy manner.
  • idiom (on the house) At the expense of the establishment; free.
  • idiom (put/set) To organize one's affairs in a sensible, logical way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cover with or as with a housing.
  • noun A covering; housing; especially, a covering of textile material, as for a piece of furniture, fitted more or less accurately to the object covered.
  • noun A child's coverlet.
  • noun In some tunicates, as Appendicularia and Oikopleura, a temporary gelatinous envelop, representing the tunic of other forms. It is formed with great rapidity as a secretion from the surface of the ectoderm and is frequently thrown off and renewed.
  • To put or receive into a house; provide with a dwelling or residence; put or keep under a roof; cover; shelter; protect by covering.
  • To cause to take shelter.
  • To hide.
  • Nautical: To arrange in the form of a ridged roof, as an awning, so as to shed rain.
  • To remove from exposure; put in a place of deposit or a state of security: as, to house a boat or a sail.
  • In carpentry, to fix in a socket, mortice, or other space cut out, as a board or timber fitting into another.
  • To take shelter or lodging; take up abode; reside.
  • In astrology, to be situated in a house or region of the heavens.
  • noun A building designed to be used as a place of residence, or of human occupation for any purpose: as, a dwelling-house; a banking-house; a house of worship; a public house.
  • noun Hence An abiding-place; an abode; a place or means of lodgment; a fixed shelter or investment: as, the hermit-crab carries its house on its back.
  • noun A building used for some purpose other than human occupation: usually with a descriptive prefix: as, a cow-house; a warehouse; a tool-house.
  • noun The persons collectively who dwell together under one roof; a family; a household.
  • noun A family regarded as consisting of ancestors, descendants, and kindred; a race of persons from one stock; a tribe; especially, a noble family or an illustrious race: as, the house of Hapsburg; the house of Hanover; the house of Israel or of Judah.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English hous, from Old English hūs.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hous, hus, from Old English hūs ("dwelling, shelter, house"), from Proto-Germanic *hūsan (compare West Frisian hûs, Dutch huis, Low German Huus, German Haus, Danish hus), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *(s)keus-, from *(s)keu- 'to hide'. More at hose.


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  • House prices could be supported by purchase of housing -- house buyer of last resort.

    Jan Kregel: Navigating the Jobs Crisis: Households Need a Bailout, Too 2009

  • You'll see, we'll have a Marxist in the White House now, and Marxists running the house and senate.

    The Star Tribune's big wet sloppy kiss MN Politics Guru 2007

  • My dad continued working at the post office and we moved to a house on e 38th court before I turned one… my house… just a little bit of background info…

    rabid-pandas Diary Entry rabid-pandas 2007

  • Last weekend, I set about to decorate my perfect tree. in my scaled down, dream house, for my very first christmas ~in the blue and white house~ celebrating my "this is as good as it gets" reality.

    wendchymes Diary Entry wendchymes 2007

  • He actually was so upset at me that he drove us back to his house, got out of my truck, and walked inside the house…

    goldylockz22 Diary Entry goldylockz22 2003

  • We actually followed Toby all the freaking way back to his house before Tyler turned around and headed for his house…

    goldylockz22 Diary Entry goldylockz22 2003

  • Where the succession of possessives is unpleasant or confusing, the substitution of a prepositional phrase should be made; as, _the house of the mother of Charles's partner_, instead of, _Charles's partner's mother's house_.

    Practical Grammar and Composition Thomas Wood

  • The following are solecisms: "This house to let;" "Horses and carriages to let;" "Congress has much business to perform this session;" because the agents, _house_, _horses_ and

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures Samuel Kirkham

  • He gives what the house is to him, merely _a house_ in general, any house; it would not help it, but only make the defect more prominent, to straighten and complete the lines.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 76, February, 1864 Various

  • And, amidst the prophet's vision of the New Testament Church, he is directed to teach his people _the form of the house, the laws of the house_, &c.,

    The Divine Right of Church Government by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London

  • Meanwhile, some of the world’s most successful social media posses are moving into luxurious “hype houses” in Los Angeles and Hawaii, where they can livestream their lifestyles, exercise routines, and sex advice — as well the products of their sponsors — to their millions of followers.

    The Privileged Have Entered Their Escape Pods Douglas Rushkoff 2021


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  • "In what house will we house the troops?"

    March 27, 2008

  • 1986 House Sound of Chicago (record sleeve note), House is the mystifying music they call the key... House is meta-music, always referring outwards to other sounds, past and present.

    July 15, 2008

  • My house backs against the hill's foot where it descends from the town to the river. Wendell Berry "A Native Hill"

    July 19, 2008

  • the best show ever

    May 26, 2009

  • That's what you said a moment ago on invader zim.

    May 27, 2009

  • well i think a lot of shows are the best ever!!!

    May 28, 2009

  • That's my point.

    May 28, 2009

  • Quirk of grammar: this is the only English noun* ending in /s/ where the consonant changes in the plural, like the common fate of /f/ and /θ/ in knife, bath etc.

    * Okay, noun root or something—obviously bathhouse, teahouse etc. also have the same kind of irregular plural. Nitpickers!

    June 18, 2009

  • oddly, i don't often pronounce the "s" like a "z" in the plural. in fact, i've never actually thought about it until i read your comment, qroqqa; though i was mildly aware of it. and i've never pronounced the "th" like /dh/ in the plural of "baths", either. strange.

    June 18, 2009

  • I don't pronounce it with a /z/ in the plural, but when it's a verb I do.

    Just came here to mention that reesetee and I can't seem to restrain our Hugh Laurie/"House" conversation over on marsupial, in case, for all Wordieternity, anyone ever comes here for the TV character (again).

    July 16, 2009

  • Indeed. You'll also find me at unrestrained.

    July 16, 2009

  • The pub(l)ic health commissioner would like to remind you that excessive ho-use carries with it an increased risk of STDs.

    July 16, 2009

  • ... what about excessive Hugh Laurie use? *eyebrows waggling*

    July 16, 2009

  • world, existence

    July 23, 2009