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

  • n. A structure serving as a dwelling for one or more persons, especially for a family.
  • n. A household or family.
  • n. Something, such as a burrow or shell, that serves as a shelter or habitation for a wild animal.
  • n. A dwelling for a group of people, such as students or members of a religious community, who live together as a unit: a sorority house.
  • n. A building that functions as the primary shelter or location of something: a carriage house; the lion house at the zoo.
  • n. A facility, such as a theater or restaurant, that provides entertainment or food for the public: a movie house; the specialty of the house.
  • n. The audience or patrons of such an establishment: a full house.
  • n. A commercial firm: a brokerage house.
  • n. A publishing company: a house that specializes in cookbooks.
  • n. A gambling casino.
  • n. Slang A house of prostitution.
  • n. A residential college within a university.
  • n. A legislative or deliberative assembly.
  • n. The hall or chamber in which such an assembly meets.
  • n. A quorum of such an assembly.
  • n. A family line including ancestors and descendants, especially a royal or noble family: the House of Orange.
  • n. One of the 12 parts into which the heavens are divided in astrology.
  • n. The sign of the zodiac indicating the seat or station of a planet in the heavens. Also called mansion.
  • n. House music.
  • transitive v. To provide living quarters for; lodge: The cottage housed ten students.
  • transitive v. To shelter, keep, or store in or as if in a house: a library housing rare books.
  • transitive v. To contain; harbor.
  • transitive v. To fit into a socket or mortise.
  • transitive v. Nautical To secure or stow safely.
  • intransitive v. To reside; dwell.
  • intransitive v. To take shelter.
  • idiom on fire Informal In an extremely speedy manner: ran away like a house on fire; tickets that sold like a house afire.
  • idiom on the house At the expense of the establishment; free: food and drinks on the house.
  • idiom put To organize one's affairs in a sensible, logical way.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. ​ A structure serving as an abode of human beings.
  • n. The mode of living as if in a house.
  • n. The usual place to find an object or an animal.
  • n. A structure to protect or store something or someone.
  • n. A protective structure on the deck of a ship.
  • n. ​ A theatre building, or the audience for a live theatrical or similar performance.
  • n. A deliberative assembly forming a component of a legislature, or, more rarely, the room or building in which such an assembly normally meets.
  • n. ​An establishment, whether actual, as a pub, or virtual, as a website. Particularly restaurant, casino, or financial or trading company.
  • n. A company or organisation.
  • n. A dynasty, a familial descendance, for example, a royal House.
  • n. One of the twelve divisions of an astrological chart.
  • n. A grouping of schoolchildren for the purposes of competition in sports and other activities.
  • n. ​House music.
  • n. The four concentric circles where points are scored on the ice
  • n. An early or alternative name for the game bingo.
  • n. A complete set of numbers in bingo.
  • n. An aggregate of characteristics of a house.
  • n. this sense) (uncountable) A children's game in which the players pretend to be members of a household.
  • v. To keep within a structure or container.
  • v. To admit to residence; to harbor/harbour.
  • v. To take shelter or lodging; to abide; to lodge.
  • v. To dwell within one of the twelve astrological houses.
  • v. To contain or cover mechanical parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A structure intended or used as a habitation or shelter for animals of any kind; but especially, a building or edifice for the habitation of man; a dwelling place, a mansion.
  • n. Household affairs; domestic concerns; particularly in the phrase to keep house. See below.
  • n. Those who dwell in the same house; a household.
  • n. A family of ancestors, descendants, and kindred; a race of persons from the same stock; a tribe; especially, a noble family or an illustrious race
  • n. One of the estates of a kingdom or other government assembled in parliament or legislature; a body of men united in a legislative capacity
  • n. A firm, or commercial establishment.
  • n. A public house; an inn; a hotel.
  • n. A twelfth part of the heavens, as divided by six circles intersecting at the north and south points of the horizon, used by astrologers in noting the positions of the heavenly bodies, and casting horoscopes or nativities. The houses were regarded as fixed in respect to the horizon, and numbered from the one at the eastern horizon, called the ascendant, first house, or house of life, downward, or in the direction of the earth's revolution, the stars and planets passing through them in the reverse order every twenty-four hours.
  • n. A square on a chessboard, regarded as the proper place of a piece.
  • n. An audience; an assembly of hearers, as at a lecture, a theater, etc..
  • n. The body, as the habitation of the soul.
  • n. The grave.
  • intransitive v. To take shelter or lodging; to abide to dwell; to lodge.
  • intransitive v. To have a position in one of the houses. See House, n., 8.
  • transitive v. To take or put into a house; to shelter under a roof; to cover from the inclemencies of the weather; to protect by covering
  • transitive v. To drive to a shelter.
  • transitive v. To admit to residence; to harbor.
  • transitive v. To deposit and cover, as in the grave.
  • transitive v. To stow in a safe place; to take down and make safe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To cover with or as with a housing.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A building used for some purpose other than human occupation: usually with a descriptive prefix: as, a cow-house; a warehouse; a tool-house.
  • n. The persons collectively who dwell together under one roof; a family; a household.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A legislative body; usually, one of the divisions of the legislative branch of a government acting separately, or of any deliberative body divided into two chambers: as, the House of Lords or of Commons in the British Parliament; the House of Representatives in the United States Congress; the House of Bishops and the House of Delegates in the American Episcopal Church.
  • n. Specifically, in the United States, the lower house, or House of Representatives, the more numerous of the two bodies of the national legislature. The name is also given in some States to the corresponding body in the State legislature. See congress, 4.
  • n. The audience or attendance at a place of entertainment.
  • n. In com., a firm or commercial establishment: as, the house of Jones Brothers.
  • n. Chamber; room; specifically, in provincial English use, the ordinary sitting-room in a farm-house; in sulphuric-acid works, one of the chambers in which the acid is formed.
  • n. In astrology, a twelfth part of the heavens as divided by great circles drawn through the north and south points of the horizon, in the same way as meridians pass through the earth's poles.
  • n. A square or division on a chess-board.—
  • n. The workhouse; poorhouse.
  • n. An outhouse; a privy.
  • n. A covering; housing; especially, a covering of textile material, as for a piece of furniture, fitted more or less accurately to the object covered.
  • n. A child's coverlet.
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an official assembly having legislative powers
  • n. a social unit living together
  • n. a building in which something is sheltered or located
  • n. the members of a business organization that owns or operates one or more establishments
  • n. a building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented
  • n. a dwelling that serves as living quarters for one or more families
  • n. aristocratic family line
  • v. provide housing for
  • n. play in which children take the roles of father or mother or children and pretend to interact like adults
  • v. contain or cover
  • n. the management of a gambling house or casino
  • n. the members of a religious community living together
  • n. the audience gathered together in a theatre or cinema
  • n. (astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided


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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  • world, existence

    July 23, 2009

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

    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

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

    July 16, 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • That's my point.

    May 28, 2009

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

    May 28, 2009

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

    May 27, 2009

  • the best show ever

    May 26, 2009

  • 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

  • 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

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

    March 27, 2008