noun, often attributive
\ ˈhau̇s How to pronounce house (audio) \
plural houses\ ˈhau̇-​zəz How to pronounce house (audio) also  -​səz How to pronounce house (audio) \

Definition of house

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a building that serves as living quarters for one or a few families : home invited them to her house for dinner a two-family house
2a(1) : a shelter or refuge (such as a nest or den) of a wild animal
(2) : a natural covering (such as a test or shell) that encloses and protects an animal or a colony of zooids
b : a building in which something is sheltered or stored a carriage house
3a astrology : one of the 12 equal sectors (see sector entry 1 sense 1a) in which the celestial sphere is divided
b astrology : a sign of the zodiac that is the seat of a planet's greatest influence the house occupied by Jupiter
4a : household woke up the whole house
b : a family including ancestors, descendants, and kindred the house of Tudor
5a : a residence for a religious community or for students a fraternity house
b : the community or students living in such a residence
6a government : a legislative, deliberative, or consultative assembly especially : one constituting a division of a bicameral body a bill approved by both houses of Congress often used in capitalized form as the shortened name of a specific house The bill passed in both the House and the Senate. MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Government's Brexit Bill in the House of Commons. … The House voted in favour of the bill by 498 to 114 … — Chloe Chaplain
b : the building or chamber where such an assembly meets
c : a quorum of such an assembly
7a : a place of business or entertainment a movie house the local fish house a house of prostitution Save room for a soufflé, the century-long house specialty …— Thomas P. Farley a house cocktail [=a cocktail whose recipe was created by the bar, restaurant, etc. at which it is served]
b(1) : a business organization a publishing house
(2) : a gambling establishment
c : the audience in a theater or concert hall a full house on opening night
8 curling : the circular area 12 feet in diameter surrounding the tee and within which a curling stone must rest in order to count
9 [from The Warehouse, Chicago dance club that pioneered the style] : a type of dance music mixed by a disc jockey that features overdubbing with a heavy repetitive drumbeat and repeated electronic melody lines
on the house
: without charge : free


\ ˈhau̇z How to pronounce house (audio) \
housed; housing

Definition of house (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to provide with living quarters or shelter a place to house their guests
b : to store in a building the barn where they house their boat
2 : to encase, enclose, or shelter as if by putting in a house (see house entry 1) so timorous a soul housed in so impressive a body— A. W. Long
3 : to serve as a shelter or container for : contain buildings that house government offices

intransitive verb

: to take shelter : lodge

Other Words from house


houseful \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce house (audio) \ noun
houseless \ ˈhau̇-​sləs How to pronounce house (audio) \ adjective
houselessness noun

Examples of house in a Sentence

Noun Would you like to come to my house for dinner? I spent the weekend just puttering around the house. He made enough noise to wake the whole house. Verb More prisons are needed to house the growing number of inmates. The museum houses an impressive collection of jewels. The carpenter built casing to house the hot water pipes. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The price of ether, the in-house currency of the Ethereum network, fell as low as $1,013 on Wednesday and was most recently at $1,080, down 9% from its 5 p.m. ET level Tuesday. Caitlin Mccabe, WSJ, 15 June 2022 The theories of what went on in that house, and about Parsons’ end, have engrossed writers and filmmakers for decades. Patt Morrisoncolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2022 Although the house was still under construction, Antoon had put it up for sale earlier that month, for about sixteen million U.S. dollars. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 Bartt was older and had already moved out, so the house was a fresh start for Sherrill and Suzie. Kyani Reid, NBC News, 12 June 2022 The house’s biggest space is a drab conference room. New York Times, 9 June 2022 Trap house is slang for a place where drugs are sold. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 8 June 2022 According to Sinkewich, the Countryside Antiques house is 101 years old. cleveland, 4 June 2022 While this trying transit can be rather difficult to deal with at times, the 6th house is your personal domain, Virgo, so don't forget that you're naturally equipped to handle the issues coming your way! Chicago Tribune, 4 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Investors that house the majority of their assets within the stock market are no doubt feeling the effects of the investment rollercoaster that started in 2019 and continues persistently. Kelli Click, Forbes, 16 June 2022 The $92 million, state-of-the-art facility that will house the Tigers’ football program is now 70 percent complete, according to the university’s June facilities report. Tom Green |, al, 14 June 2022 But there are shelter systems run by other city agencies that house roughly another 10,000 people, including many domestic violence victims and runaway youth. New York Times, 14 June 2022 To the aft, there is also an impressive float-in dock that can house additional toys and tenders. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 13 June 2022 Construction continues on a UCSD village that will house 2,000 students. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 June 2022 Located in the former Rite Loom Carpet building at the corner of West Whittier Boulevard and North 6th Street, the indoor-outdoor space is fashioned with stark white shipping containers that house various food and beverage vendors. Jenn Harriscolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2022 University Settlement is finishing construction on a four-story building that will house the nonprofit’s offices on the first floor and 88 affordable apartments to rent and townhouses to own. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 31 May 2022 The Anaheim issues represent the second time in three months that Disney has been swept up in local political firestorms in the states that house its profitable U.S. theme parks. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, 25 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of house


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for house

Noun and Verb

Middle English hous, from Old English hūs; akin to Old High German hūs house

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Time Traveler for house

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The first known use of house was before the 12th century

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Statistics for house

Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“House.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for house


\ ˈhau̇s How to pronounce house (audio) \
plural houses\ ˈhau̇-​zəz \

Kids Definition of house

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a place built for people to live in
2 : something (as a nest or den) used by an animal for shelter
3 : a building in which something is kept a carriage house
4 : household entry 1 Her noise woke up the whole house.
5 : a body of persons assembled to make the laws for a country The United States Congress is made up of two houses.
6 : a business firm a publishing house
7 : the audience in a theater or concert hall
8 : family sense 2 the house of Windsor
on the house
: free of charge Dessert is on the house.


\ ˈhau̇z How to pronounce house (audio) \
housed; housing

Kids Definition of house (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to provide with living quarters or shelter
2 : contain sense 2 All three movies are housed in a single set.



Legal Definition of house

1a : a building (as a single or multiple family house, apartment, or hotel room) serving as living quarters and usually including the curtilage
b : a building (as one's residence or a locked place of business) in which one is entitled to protection (as from warrantless searches and seizures) under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
2a : a legislative assembly especially that constitutes a division of a bicameral body
b : the building or chamber where such an assembly meets
c : a quorum of such an assembly

House biographical name

\ ˈhau̇s How to pronounce House (audio) \

Definition of House

Edward Mandell 1858–1938 Colonel House American diplomat

More from Merriam-Webster on house

Nglish: Translation of house for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of house for Arabic Speakers


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