house·​keep·​ing | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌkē-piŋ How to pronounce housekeeping (audio) \

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 nounhousekeeping 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 Hotels have fully reopened, although daily housekeeping is only available upon request. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Chicago Will Allow Indoor Dining at Restaurants in Phase 4 Starting Friday," 25 June 2020 Most of the land is owned by commercial timber interests, but there are hundreds of remote campsites, plus a few sporting lodges and housekeeping cabins catering to anglers, hunters, and paddlers. Brian Kevin, Outside Online, "A Local's Guide to Maine's Katahdin Region," 18 June 2020 Campos told The Republic his client also worked in housekeeping and he was told that the jails are only cleaning the bathrooms. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Maricopa County jail inmate tests COVID-19 positive after lawyer warns sheriff of symptoms," 16 June 2020 But some are adding second-level super cleaning to their daily housekeeping. Linda Laban, USA TODAY, "Can cleaning tech make people feel safe at hotels amid the coronavirus pandemic?," 9 June 2020 Hotels should remove reusable items in guest rooms like magazines and local attractions guides, require housekeeping staff to clean rooms when guests are not present, and consider leaving rooms vacant for 24 to 72 hours after a guest has left. Catherine Ho,, "California gives counties path to reopen campgrounds, bars, gyms and more as soon as June 12," 5 June 2020 However, some of the suggestions are unique to hotels — for example, housekeeping should not enter a guest’s room unless the visitor has requested cleaning service. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "What’s it like to go on vacation during a pandemic? I went to a newly reopened resort to find out.," 5 June 2020 Victoria Galindo Lopez, a 48-year-old Mexican immigrant, was one of the few who stepped up and returned to her housekeeping job. Los Angeles Times, "She’s an essential worker, helping the homeless. But ICE plans to deport her next week," 4 June 2020 At Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, face masks are required in public areas, except when dining or swimming, capacity of public areas will be limited, and housekeeping and public area attendants will increase their cleaning procedures. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, "Dollywood Just Released Plans to Reopen on June 15 (Video)," 4 June 2020

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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The first known use of housekeeping was in 1529

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Housekeeping.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce housekeeping (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for housekeeping

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with housekeeping

Spanish Central: Translation of housekeeping

Nglish: Translation of housekeeping for Spanish Speakers

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