house·​break | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌbrāk How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \
housebroke\ ˈhau̇s-​ˌbrōk How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \; housebroken\ ˈhau̇s-​ˌbrō-​kən How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \; housebreaking

Definition of housebreak

transitive verb

1 : to make housebroken
2a : to teach acceptable social manners to
b : tame, subdue

Examples of housebreak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A crate can be instrumental in housebreaking a dog or dealing with other issues such as inappropriate chewing. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, 12 June 2017 Sullivan compared her work with Keller to housebreaking a dog. Elizabeth Engelman, New York Times, 26 May 2017

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

First Known Use of housebreak

1876, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for housebreak

back-formation from housebroken

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Time Traveler for housebreak

Time Traveler

The first known use of housebreak was in 1876

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Cite this Entry

“Housebreak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for housebreak



English Language Learners Definition of housebreak

: to train (an animal) to urinate or defecate outside the home or in an acceptable place indoors


transitive verb
house·​break | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌbrāk How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \
housebroke\ -​ˌbrōk How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \; housebroken\ -​ˌbrō-​kən How to pronounce housebreak (audio) \; housebreaking

Medical Definition of housebreak

: to make housebroken

More from Merriam-Webster on housebreak

Nglish: Translation of housebreak for Spanish Speakers


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