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 Housed in a former workhouse in Shoreditch, in a time where most of us who are lucky enough to have their own homes, have thought about them and their place in our lives, its reopening couldn’t be more timely. Sarah Turner, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Gatehouse, a geographical dictionary of medieval castles in the British Isles, notes that Bishops Palace was in ruins by the 18th century, with a workhouse erected on part of the site in 1735. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Mar. 2021 People are turning violent because of the Rip, and Vic, the man from the workhouse, confronts Billy randomly in the street and attacks him. Olivia Truffaut-wong,, 30 Mar. 2021 Living in a dirty squat in what seems a particularly tubercular part of town, the principal quartet of teenage London slumdwellers are eager to avoid the workhouse, pay their extortionist landlord her rent, and feed themselves with some regularity. John Anderson, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2021 The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Beasley can serve his stay in the workhouse after his season is over; COVID-19 precautions could require the county to release him on electronic home monitoring for the duration of the sentence., 25 Feb. 2021 By La Quinta Long anticipated that 50 or 60 more inmates would be transferred out of the jail and into the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, also known as the workhouse, once the latest disturbance is brought under control. Time, 6 Feb. 2021 Long said 65 inmates were transferred from the downtown jail and into the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, also known as the workhouse. CBS News, 6 Feb. 2021 Thomas Martin died of fever in 1847, the blackest year of the great Potato Famine, after visiting former tenants in the workhouse. Colin Thubron, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020

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

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Cite this Entry

“Workhouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of workhouse



Legal Definition of workhouse

: a correctional facility for persons guilty of minor criminal violations

More from Merriam-Webster on workhouse

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


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