house·​keep·​ing | \ˈhau̇s-ˌkē-piŋ \

Definition of housekeeping 

1a : the management of a house and home affairs … coming home to husbands who won't share in the housekeepingThe Wilson Quarterly The first defense against insect infestation is good housekeeping (regular vacuuming) to remove eggs and larvae from the fabrics.— Sara J. Wolf

b : the work or activity of cleaning and preparing rooms for customers (as in a hotel) often used before another noun housekeeping servicestook a housekeeping job at a nearby hotel also : the department or employees responsible for doing such work If you need fresh towels you can call housekeeping.

2 : the care and management of property and the provision of equipment and services (as for an industrial organization)

3 : the routine tasks that must be done in order for a system to function or to function efficiently performing some computer housekeeping by deleting old files

Examples of housekeeping in a Sentence

We took the computer offline to do some basic housekeeping.

Recent Examples on the Web

This will allow the station to resume normal operations with a six-person crew, enabling both housekeeping tasks on board the station as well as a full suite of scientific research. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Two months after mishap, Russian Soyuz rockets back into space with crew," 3 Dec. 2018 Crew members in housekeeping or food and beverage may only be promised $2 a day, and tips often make up 95 percent of their income. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "The case against cruises," 15 Nov. 2018 Just one employee, a young man named Miles (Lewis Pullman), now handles everything from the front desk to housekeeping to bartending. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Bad Times at the El Royale turns a once-glamorous hotel into purgatory, with mixed results," 3 Oct. 2018 Fasting and caloric restriction both can ramp up autophagy, a kind of cellular housekeeping. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 Later that night, as Archie is having a heart-to-heart with his parents, Veronica attempts to break into the jury’s hotel room dressed as a member of the housekeeping staff. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 1: Does Archie Go to Jail?," 11 Oct. 2018 The Warwick offers owners access to room service and housekeeping, as well as monthly valet parking. Shannon Rooney,, "Living in close quarters: Philly condos of 600 square feet or less," 21 May 2018 Each unit receives concierge services like room service, housekeeping, valet parking and dry cleaning. Anne Nickoloff,, "Schofield Residences offer luxury downtown Cleveland living: Apartment of the week," 9 May 2018 In Dunbar’s case, a Mandalay Bay housekeeping employee noticed the guns and summoned supervisors before federal agents arrived and seized three pistols, a bolt-action rifle and the two assault-style weapons. Washington Post, "Lawyers: 2014 arrest at Vegas hotel precursor to killings," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'housekeeping.' 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 housekeeping

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for housekeeping

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for housekeeping

The first known use of housekeeping was in 1529

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English Language Learners Definition of housekeeping

: the work (such as cooking and cleaning) that is done in a house

: the things that must be done regularly to keep something working properly


house·​keep·​ing | \ˈhau̇s-ˌkē-piŋ\

Kids Definition of housekeeping

: the care and management of a house or the rooms of a hotel

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More from Merriam-Webster on housekeeping

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with housekeeping

Spanish Central: Translation of housekeeping

Nglish: Translation of housekeeping for Spanish Speakers

Comments on housekeeping

What made you want to look up housekeeping? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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