flop·​house | \ ˈfläp-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce flophouse (audio) \

Definition of flophouse

: a cheap rooming house or hotel

Examples of flophouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Defectors from Venezuela's police and military, they had been rounded up from flophouses and streetside encampments for a secret mission to liberate their homeland from the socialist government of autocratic President Nicolás Maduro. Anchorage Daily News, "How an ex-Green Beret and a defecting general planned to capture Venezuela’s president," 11 May 2020 The flophouses and nickel-a-drink saloons have given way to nightclubs and luxury condos. Colin Moynihan, New York Times, "A Bowery Chapel Once Let Homeless New Yorkers Sleep Inside. No More.," 5 Mar. 2020 In March 1900, the proprietor of a lumber yard named Chick Gin died in a flophouse basement in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Bess Lovejoy, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Pioneering Health Officer Who Saved Portland From the Plague," 25 Mar. 2020 The place became a flophouse, a dope den and the scene of multiple homicides. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, "The Whitelaw gave black people a place to stay when other hotels turned them away," 18 Feb. 2020 Yukio Takazawa, executive director of a support group for the poor in Yokohama’s Kotobukicho, an area of flophouses where homeless people also tend to congregate, worries the worst is to come. Washington Post, "Downtown Tokyo’s homeless fear removal ahead of Olympics," 23 Jan. 2020 The Bowery, a street in lower Manhattan, has been the site of many flophouses, and the place where the attacks occurred lies just south of the Bowery Mission, one of the city’s oldest and most important aid organizations. BostonGlobe.com, "Nearly 1 in 121 of New York City’s population of 8.5 million is homeless, according to the Bowery Mission. The Coalition for the Homeless put the number of homeless people in the city’s shelter system in August at 61,674, including 14,806 families with 21,802 children.," 6 Oct. 2019 The area where the attacks occurred centers on the Bowery, which has a long history of sheltering — both on the streets and in flophouses — people who are down on their luck. New York Times, "In Chinatown, Rampage Against Sleeping Homeless Men Leaves 4 Dead," 5 Oct. 2019 The poolrooms, flophouses, bars, cheap restaurants, wine stores and missions remained, but their customers, and the atmosphere on the street, had changed for the worse. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "SF ‘hobohemia’ transformed into Skid Row as jobs and city changed," 10 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flophouse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flophouse

1916, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for flophouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of flophouse was in 1916

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Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flophouse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flophouse. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce flophouse (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flophouse

chiefly US, informal : a very inexpensive hotel for poor people who do not have anywhere else to live

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