work·​house | \ ˈwərk-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce workhouse (audio) \

Definition of workhouse

1 British : poorhouse
2 : a house of correction for persons guilty of minor law violations

Examples of workhouse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

United Launch Alliance retired a workhouse rocket built in Alabama today with the successful last launch of a Delta-IV Medium rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. Lee Roop |, al, "Watch ULA launch the last Delta-IV rocket built in Alabama," 22 Aug. 2019 Photo: The Royal Portfolio Heatherwick and his team also redid the exterior of an adjacent workhouse—the elevator’s office and control center—which became the Silo Hotel, a 28-room boutique property with crystal chandeliers and velvet sofas. Lynn Freehill-maye, WSJ, "Grain Silos: From Empty Relics to Cultural Landmarks and Luxury Hotels," 29 Aug. 2018 Those create workhouses for poor people to work in. Recode Staff, Recode, "Journalist and author Annie Lowrey wants you to understand that universal basic income isn’t crazy," 16 July 2018 During the Industrial Revolution, England built workhouses where the destitute broke stones and untangled rope in return for food and a bed. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 The commission that repealed the system replaced it with Dickensian workhouses—a corrective, at the opposite extreme, for a program that everyone agreed had failed. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Who Really Stands to Win from Universal Basic Income?," 24 Mar. 2014 As many as 1 million souls lie buried on Hart Island, purchased by the city in 1868 as land for a workhouse for wayward boys and a potter’s field. Washington Post, "Erosion unearthing bones on New York’s island of the dead," 3 May 2018 Outside of the workhouse, news of her fast was spreading. Cameron Knight,, "50 years ago this protester spent 62 days fasting in Cincinnati jail. She's still got game.," 26 Mar. 2018 Despite its lofty ideals, the Industrial School proved to be little more than a harsh workhouse, whose real purpose was to keep troubled youths out of sight. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, "Corrupt, inhumane reform school was SF’s first form of juvenile justice," 16 Mar. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for workhouse

The first known use of workhouse was in the 15th century

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Legal Definition of workhouse

: a correctional facility for persons guilty of minor criminal violations

More from Merriam-Webster on workhouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with workhouse

Britannica English: Translation of workhouse for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about workhouse

Comments on workhouse

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


to make a temporary encampment

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