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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  • "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