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 From July through August 2021, researchers measured internet performance in a house in Hyde Park and one in South Shore — both households were paying for gigabit internet service from Xfinity (Comcast). Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 10 May 2022 An unexpected discovery has revealed ancient artwork that was once part of an Iron Age complex beneath a house in southeastern Turkey. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 10 May 2022 Wood furniture adds character to a patio in an 18th-century row house in the French city of Perpignan. Kelsey Mulvey, ELLE Decor, 10 May 2022 Once police arrived, set up a perimeter and started speaking to Sanders through a speaker, a woman emerged from the house, according to the district attorney’s statement. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 The ordeal began just after 5 p.m. Thursday when Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at to a house in the 1700 block of Alliance Road. Carol Robinson |, al, 9 May 2022 Upended by guilt and grief, she's booked two weeks at a house in the English countryside that turns out to exceed all Airbnb fantasies: a grand old manor owned by a jolly, horse-y type called Geoffrey (veteran British character actor Rory Kinnear). Leah Greenblatt,, 9 May 2022 While filming the campaign in February in a house in Montclair, New Jersey, Barrymore was initially supposed to sing and dance along with the rest of the cast. Marty Swant, Forbes, 7 May 2022 The two men lived in a house in the Highland neighborhood of Beaverton on Southwest Macorey Court, just west of Hall Boulevard. oregonlive, 7 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Among those facts: First, Austin doesn’t have an arena large enough to permanently house an NBA team. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 Builder Pallet Shelter will assemble 66 prefab units to temporarily house more than 60 individuals. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 What Will Fit: At 15 inches in height, this designer find can house a standard-sized laptop, like a 13-inch MacBook. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, 5 May 2022 Satellite images show dolphin pens that the Russian Navy is likely using to house the marine mammals at the Crimean base. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2022 According to a 2021 Probation Department report, Kilpatrick on average tended to house older kids who had spent more time locked up than their peers at other facilities and a high percentage of juveniles who were deemed high-risk. Libor Janystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2022 One will have the shape of a pill to house multiple sensors or cameras. Chris Smith, BGR, 29 Apr. 2022 Velelli Becker and eight family members — including her parents, sister, three uncles and grandparents — hid from the Nazis in Michalos’s two-room cottage, which was originally intended to house employees and had no running water or bathroom. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Hanlin said the Department of Parole and Probation didn’t find a place to safely house Hedquist that would also allow law enforcement to adequately protect the community. Fox News, 29 Apr. 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

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“House.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 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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