Definition of house in English:



  • 1A building for human habitation, especially one that is lived in by a family or small group of people.

    • ‘A loft extension in particular creates an instant extra storey to the house.’
    • ‘One of the new houses is three storeys high and the other is four, prompting fears that homes nearby will lose their privacy by being overlooked.’
    • ‘Then here were a great many houses; human habitations, full of the mysteries of life at every stage of it.’
    • ‘Condemning our houses as unfit for human habitation is a surefire way of clearing this area and making the area which they required for the Academy available.’
    • ‘One of the proposals, submitted by Joe Costello, proposes to construct 25 semi detached two storey houses.’
    • ‘Real foxes do, indeed, sometimes make their homes under human houses and, increasingly in this country at any rate, under city homes.’
    • ‘The application was for eight, two storey houses and eight bungalows organised in four clusters.’
    • ‘The plaintiffs were required to carry out certain repairs by the local council in order to render houses fit for human habitation.’
    • ‘I believe that he might later have gone to lodge at a house in Upper Church Street, Bath, with two of his sisters.’
    • ‘Most of the houses are two storeys (some three) and would be equivalent to a medium to large sized Queensland home.’
    • ‘The residential portion of the building is located to the rear or on the upper floor of the house.’
    • ‘Prices of houses have soared; building costs are going through the roof.’
    • ‘As you walk down towards it, the sky opens up, for in this rare Manhattan block almost all the buildings are period houses of just five storeys.’
    • ‘The ground floor of the house has ramps so that disabled visitors get a chance to see the main rooms.’
    • ‘Following the fire, investigators found traces of an accelerant in the badly damaged ground floor of the house.’
    • ‘Land beside Blue Bridge Lane, currently a redundant building, would have 24 three storey houses built on it.’
    • ‘Inside, the house is on three storeys, with the ground floor including a drawing room, study and dining room.’
    • ‘This phrase originated in medieval times in Europe when most double storey houses did not have indoor toilets.’
    • ‘There could not have been more than 50 huts in all and a dozen or so single storey brick and mortar houses, overlooking the fields beyond.’
    • ‘On the other side of the road are normal, two storey houses.’
    home, place of residence, homestead, lodging place, a roof over one's head
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    1. 1.1The people living in a house; a household.
      ‘do you want the whole house woken up?’
      • ‘I would have called you, but I didn't want to wake your entire house at seven on a weekend.’
      • ‘Every creak of a floor board or an opening door seems loud enough to wake up the whole house.’
      • ‘He picked up his cell phone to call her but thought that he would be waking up the whole house.’
      • ‘Boethius was brought up in the house of the aristocratic family of Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus.’
      • ‘It only takes one forgetful person to leave theirs in the bathroom and the whole house would be using it.’
      household, family, family circle, ménage, clan, tribe
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    2. 1.2A family or family lineage, especially a noble or royal one; a dynasty.
      ‘the power and prestige of the house of Stewart’
      • ‘They were sought after by Europe's royal houses long before many of today's classics were known.’
      • ‘Starkey goes on to point out it would be hard for the house of Windsor to pull off the same trick.’
      • ‘Problems have beset the house of Versace since its founder was murdered seven years ago.’
      • ‘The coats of arms of most of the royal houses of Europe incorporate symbols of the 12 Tribes of Lesbos.’
      • ‘Mountbatten was born to a family closely related to the house of Windsor.’
      • ‘These Four royal houses shall be responsible for one of the greatest legends ever told in my homeland of Spain.’
      • ‘This little known renaissance play deals with tragedy which befalls two houses once a lady's honour has been compromised.’
      • ‘A bigger wedding event will be probably take place then, but the date is yet to be set between the two royal houses.’
      • ‘It is somewhat ironic that the last great monument of the house of Wessex was mainly a product of Norman culture.’
      • ‘In all honesty, however, I think this is the essence of our attempts to understand and make sense of the complexities of the British and European royal houses.’
      • ‘Mar decided to retaliate by raising the standard for the house of Stuart.’
      • ‘There's been a rash circulating around the royal houses of Europe… a rash of engagements and weddings that is.’
      • ‘She cut down the servants at the tables, and massacred all in the house of Akhat.’
      • ‘The English and Scottish royal houses had become closely connected through marriage.’
      • ‘They had already incurred the enmity of the royal houses of Europe, why add that of the bankers?’
      • ‘The Blood Royal of this actual Grail lineage persists, via the female line, in the royal houses of Europe to this day.’
      • ‘It is also possible to view Williams as a tragic figure, cursed like the house of Atreus or Kennedy.’
      • ‘The Picts also practiced matrilineal descent - thus their royal houses all descended through the female line.’
      clan, kindred, family, tribe, race, strain
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    3. 1.3[with modifier]A building in which animals live or in which things are kept.
      ‘a reptile house’
      • ‘The Reptile House gives visitors an insight into the reptile and amphibian world in its many shapes and sizes.’
      • ‘The majority of the Zoo's birds live in the beautiful, sanctuary-like Bird House but birds are also scattered throughout other exhibits.’
  • 2A building in which people meet for a particular activity.

    ‘a house of prayer’
    • ‘What problems are reported in the newspaper or talked about in the houses of worship as community challenges?’
    • ‘Six weeks ago many of us did not even notice whether or where the U.S. flag stood in our houses of worship.’
    • ‘He also noted that it did not take into account the mosques and Muslim houses of prayer destroyed since 1948.’
    • ‘What is not in dispute is that the nation has turned in much greater numbers to houses of worship and organized religion.’
    • ‘Scalia cited a 1970 Supreme Court case involving tax exemptions for houses of worship in New York.’
    • ‘As we gather in our houses of worship, let us begin a process of seeking the healing and grace of God.’
    • ‘Does the Holy Spirit and fire ever need to come down in our houses of worship?’
    • ‘Jesus, berating the money-changers in the Temple, called the building a house of prayer.’
    • ‘It is not right to make a fortress of Christ's church, which is a house of prayer.’
    1. 2.1A business or institution.
      ‘he had purchased a publishing house’
      • ‘The central government plans to privatise publishing houses in a bid to open the sector and lure investment.’
      • ‘The police and civil administration generally has been ordered to ensure that all shops and business houses remain closed during prayer time.’
      • ‘The film board is a Canadian government film production house.’
      • ‘In some cases, the wines produced by these houses are lesser in quality today than, let's say, ten years ago.’
      • ‘There, rather like the men from Del Monte, the port houses would select the wine from the local farmers.’
      • ‘There seemed to be only a half dozen corporate publishing houses left.’
      • ‘I know where to go when I absolutely need new news, but the old print cycle is still ruling publishing in many news houses.’
      • ‘Banking firms and financial houses announced thousands of job losses in recent weeks.’
      • ‘He also appealed to business houses to help the institution with the sinking of a borehole since the school has no water supply.’
      • ‘Most film companies converted to production houses to service the high demand for local content to fill broadcast hours.’
      • ‘The items included kites, toiletries, chocolates, biscuits, washing soaps, breakfast cereals and beans which she sourced from various business houses in the capital city.’
      • ‘In larger transactions, a syndicate of venture capital houses or private equity firms might combine to provide the equity finance.’
      • ‘Purchase recommendations from all of the major financial houses bejewel the company's stock like diamonds.’
      • ‘They range from the traditional activities of the acceptance houses in international trade to all types of capital issues and financial services business.’
      • ‘This beneficial film-forming yeast grows naturally on the surface of the wine, although some houses now choose to cultivate their own flor culture.’
      firm, business, company, corporation, enterprise, establishment, institution, concern, organization, operation
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    2. 2.2A restaurant or inn.
      [as modifier] ‘I ordered a bottle of their house wine’
      • ‘If that is true, then what a truly pitiful bunch of lazy, coffee house analysts we are.’
      • ‘With all the gigs, curry houses and general yah-yah activity in Brick Lane now, you'd expect Shoreditch station to be thronging with people.’
      • ‘In most reception venues, the house alcohol is always more expensive than if you supply your own.’
      • ‘We'll dine at the fanciest and snootiest drive-thru restaurants and waffle houses.’
      • ‘You can sip a cup of tea at the tea house and restaurant inside the garden.’
      • ‘They think it reflects well on them that the wine they choose to be their house wine is a posh one.’
      • ‘The British education in high-street curry houses will help them find their way around menus, but after that, preconceptions should be discarded.’
      • ‘Get a couple of glasses of house champagne, relax and enjoy the sunset from way up in the sky.’
      • ‘There are a few trusty pizza houses and French restaurants for those who can't face cooking after a day of strenuous exercise.’
      • ‘Food arrives at our table - not food we have asked for, but a small appetiser with the compliments of the house.’
      • ‘I spent the next two hours pouring mineral water, serving glasses of house wine and decanting bottles at the bar.’
      • ‘He was also part of a small group of young mathematicians who met weekly in a wine house.’
      • ‘I'd cook rabbit stuffed with black pudding, which is one of our house specialties in the Lindsey House.’
      inn, bar, tavern, hostelry, taproom
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    3. 2.3A residential hall at a school or college, or its residents.
      • ‘The boarding houses are Grange Court, Sandon Lodge, and Hainault House.’
      • ‘In the final chapter, Kiely tells us about his adventures as a master of one of Harvard's residential houses.’
      • ‘No parts of the university were closed to the public (of course, the residential fraternity houses were another matter).’
      • ‘Rotherly is a Girls’ Boarding House for the Westgate School in Winchester.’
    4. 2.4A theater.
      ‘a hundred musicians performed in front of a full house’
      • ‘That attendance at theatre houses has dropped can only point to the fact that the quality of productions has not been impressive as has been the investment.’
      • ‘There's a certain energy in sold-out houses, and an anarchic feeling so late on a weeknight, for an unadvertised event.’
      • ‘We need a few theatre houses with a congenial atmosphere in tune with the local architecture of the land.’
      • ‘These days, the film plays to packed houses when cinemas screen it at Christmas time, and is in constant demand from video-buyers.’
      • ‘The production bemused and beguiled a packed house in which I seemed to be the only person over 22.’
      • ‘Most of the picture houses and theatres carried a lot of publicity from their managers' point of view.’
      • ‘In a small house with a tall actor, the rake and actor's frame easily manage to blot out a lot of the action.’
      • ‘He has become one of Hull's best known local music stars, and regularly performs to packed houses at the Adelphi Club in west Hull.’
      • ‘The Jermyn Street Theatre is yet another much needed space for the revival of those gems of the musical theatre that are too small for anything like the major West End houses.’
      • ‘The production enjoyed packed houses at The Gilded Balloon, in Edinburgh 2003, with much critical acclaim.’
      • ‘The community responds and you screen in 800 seat theatres to packed houses.’
      • ‘Cinema houses like Nandan screen good films from across the world.’
      • ‘The Beatles, Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly were among stars performing to packed houses.’
      • ‘THERE ARE at least three of Dileep's films now running to packed houses in the city theatres.’
      • ‘It could have come to Edinburgh with any one of a number of Irish plays from its normal repertoire, performed to packed houses and won critical acclaim.’
      • ‘Since then it has played to packed houses, and after London the production is off to the USA and France.’
      • ‘This summer teenagers involved in the project performed to packed houses at Bradford's Alhambra Theatre on two consecutive nights.’
      • ‘We just played off each other so well and had the best time doing it and the funniest part was, we wound up having packed houses, other people loved it too.’
      audience, crowd, those present, listeners, spectators, viewers, gathering, assembly, assemblage, congregation
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    5. 2.5An audience in a theater or concert venue.
      ‘the house burst into applause’
      • ‘Since Gyan's return to the North Coast she has been performing to sellout houses.’
      • ‘To date the tour has attracted capacity houses wherever it performs.’
      • ‘Other than music, there should be a renewed interest in theatre especially with theatre houses having undergone a renaissance this year.’
      • ‘Later it performed to packed houses at Andrew's Lane Theatre in Dublin’
      • ‘It played six performances to packed houses at Sydney's Conservatorium, and attracted gratifying media attention.’
      • ‘It was a productive time for both film-makers and playwrights, with houses full and involvement high.’
      show, production, showing, presentation, entertainment, staging, act
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    6. 2.6A religious community that occupies a particular building.
      ‘the Cistercian house at Clairvaux’
      • ‘His first important job was as a visitor of religious houses under Henry, an appointment through which he greatly expanded his father's estate.’
      • ‘Giberti, like Sadoleto, chose to reside in his see, where he disciplined his clergy, reformed religious houses, and took the cure of souls seriously.’
      • ‘Joseph II reduced the number of religious houses belonging to the contemplative orders.’
      • ‘Recruitment to the parish clergy fell and monastic houses never recovered.’
      • ‘In Britain too, there can be no doubt that the major religious houses were the focus of much landed wealth, munificence, and pilgrimage.’
      • ‘In England, for example, there were some fifty religious houses in 1066 and perhaps 1,000 monks and nuns.’
      • ‘During the last years of Leo XIII's pontificate, religious houses tried to win over the poor for Catholicism.’
      • ‘It could have been commissioned by a religious house, dedicated to the Virgin, for use as the reredos of a high altar.’
      • ‘After the dissolution of the religious houses, where the poor used to be relieved, there was for long no settled provision for them.’
      • ‘Hereward and his family seem to have been the traditional protectors of the religious houses in the area.’
      • ‘During the Middle Ages, the scriptoria and workshops of European religious houses took a strictly instrumental approach.’
      • ‘Monks from the various orders in Europe had flocked to England to set up religious houses.’
      • ‘Throughout the Middle Ages, Suffolk was dominated by the two liberties and the many other religious houses.’
      • ‘There they settled in Bethlehem and established his and hers monastic houses.’
      • ‘By the time of her death in 1581, Teresa had founded more than a dozen monastic houses.’
      • ‘Most Welsh religious houses had in any case always been poorly endowed.’
    7. 2.7dated A brothel.
      • ‘In an attempt to create Canada’s first cooperative bawdy house, a sex-work organization will submit a request to Parliament for amnesty from an anti-brothel provision within the next six months.’
    8. 2.8British formal A college of a university.
      • ‘College House is New Zealand’s oldest and most traditional University College, and is home to 152 students at the University of Canterbury.’
      • ‘He studied at the Castle, one of four teaching houses of the university which offered two year Arts degrees based almost entirely on the teachings of Aristotle.’
  • 3A legislative or deliberative assembly.

    ‘the sixty-member National Council, the country's upper house’
    • ‘This introduced a national parliament with two houses for India.’
    • ‘Few commentators have noted the provision for women's seats in both houses of parliament.’
    • ‘That, according to Parliamentary legal adviser Eshaam Palmer, can be done only by both houses of Parliament sitting together.’
    • ‘Democratic leaders in both houses say they'll bring it up for a vote and they expect it to pass.’
    • ‘An independent candidate also has to obtain an additional 20 backers from the two parliamentary houses or local councils.’
    • ‘At the state level, some of the legislatures are bicameral, patterned after the two houses of the national parliament.’
    • ‘I would recommend a tour of the houses of parliament to anyone.’
    • ‘What I don't understand is why they don't just have elections for two houses of parliament.’
    • ‘The bill had been passed by both the houses of parliament before being signed by acting president Mian Mohammad Soomro.’
    • ‘The legislature has two houses, the house of senators and the house of deputies.’
    • ‘Amendments must be approved by two-thirds of both houses of parliament and a majority of voters in a national referendum.’
    • ‘Ireland has two houses of Parliament, the Upper House known as the Seanad and the Lower House known as the Dáil.’
    • ‘The government won not only re-election, but control of both houses of parliament.’
    • ‘The referendum has been widely adopted to protect key aspects of state constitutions, such as the governor and the two houses of parliament.’
    • ‘The king, however, will appoint one of the houses of the bicameral legislature, allowing him to control lawmaking.’
    • ‘A provision for leases to be approved by both houses of parliament would safeguard against a sale by stealth, he said.’
    • ‘Unless both houses of parliament expressly disapprove within 12 months, the marriage may proceed.’
    • ‘On Wednesday, opposition parties disrupted proceedings of both houses of parliament, demanding the minister quit.’
    • ‘It would be the first time since 1981 that a government has controlled both houses of Australia's parliament.’
    • ‘Under the constitution, the Czech president is elected by a majority in both houses of parliament.’
    legislative assembly, legislative body, chamber, council, parliament, diet, congress, senate
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    1. 3.1The House of Representatives or (in the UK or Canada) the House of Commons or Lords.
      • ‘And in the 1994 elections they went on to win a House majority.’
      • ‘The oldest member of parliament, he served as speaker of the house when it first met.’
      • ‘When I spoke in the House on this subject on 8 December, I quoted similar stories from the police forces of Cambridgeshire, Essex, and Greater Manchester.’
      • ‘We accept that a time will come when the houses of parliament and the government will have to agree a final form of the bill that is less than ideal.’
      • ‘‘It is a fig leaf of a token element of elected peers designed to mask the design of the Prime Minister and his cronies to keep their grip on this House,’ he said.’
      • ‘They also altered the rules to make it harder to initiate an ethics investigation of a House member.’
      • ‘He called for a House investigation into his actions and was cleared the following year of any wrongdoing.’
      • ‘Brown's ethics problems have included a House investigation of her connection with a jailed African businessman.’
      • ‘She couldn't produce her promised list of 272 supporters in a House of 543.’
      • ‘Thus, with a cosy majority of 196 in a House of 234, her position remains unassailable.’
      • ‘However, a House subcommittee has scheduled hearings later this month to investigate the FCC's record of enforcing decency standards.’
      • ‘I came in 1976, when I had gotten an advance copy of a report of a House committee investigating CIA misdeeds.’
      • ‘I turn immediately to the decision of this House in Hedley Byrne & Co Ltd v Heller & Partners Ltd.’
      • ‘Ideally, the president of the GMC would present the annual report in public, before a committee of both houses of parliament.’
      • ‘As they walked through the halls of a House office building, interns noticed the office of Mary Kaptur (D-Ohio).’
      • ‘It's a tragic reminder of the reality which all of us in this House, and in the Lords, have to deal with in considering these matters.’
      • ‘Oldfield spoke in the House two other times.’
      • ‘This was confirmed by a House Select Committee on Assassinations report in 1979 and recently by a US Department of Justice investigation.’
  • 4A style of popular dance music typically using synthesized drum and bass lines, sparse repetitive vocals, and a fast beat.

    • ‘I mainly listen to minimal techno house, mostly because that's what I play out.’
    • ‘Dance music, and especially house music, has an uncanny power to turn the most earnest honor student into a frenetic dance machine.’
    • ‘Next door, was a cafe run by a former ska musician with a love for house and techno.’
    • ‘He moved to the USA to teach in the Eighties, but hip hop and house passed him by, as he immersed himself in world music.’
    • ‘We were influenced by electro, hip-hop, house music, jazz-funk, reggae, everything really.’
  • 5Astrology
    Any of the twelve divisions of the celestial sphere, based on the positions of the ascendant and midheaven at a given time and place, and determined by any of a number of methods.

    • ‘It is also good to have the ruler of the Ascendant and the 2nd house in mutual reception.’
    • ‘His seventh house contains Mars while Libra is at the Ascendant containing Uranus.’
    • ‘When a planet is placed in an angular house, it is performing more powerfully.’
    • ‘A horoscope needs to be drawn and studied and the meaning of aspects as well as the positioning of houses and planets have to be understood.’
    • ‘Also your boyfriend is represented by Saturn in the seventh house, which for you is the house of a husband or boyfriend.’
    1. 5.1A celestial division represented as a sector on an astrological chart, used in allocating elements of character and circumstance to different spheres of human life.
      • ‘Many planets of one person's chart fall into the angular houses of the other's natal chart.’
      • ‘The angular houses represent our own ‘seats of power’, places of familiarity and control.’
      • ‘I look further along and I see the Moon is at the top of the chart in the ninth house at 14 degrees of Virgo.’
      • ‘It is conjunct Jupiter and opposite Mars at 15 degrees of Pisces in the third house.’
      • ‘Every astrology chart is divided into houses, starting with the Ascendant line and working anti-clockwise around the rest of the chart.’


  • 1(of an animal or plant) kept in, frequenting, or infesting buildings.

    • ‘I couldn't keep my room clean and barely knew how to take care of two house cats.’
    • ‘Members of the family say the eel is an agreeable house pet, that eats twice a day and is fond of strips of raw chicken or fish.’
    • ‘He's just a house pet and is given quite a lot of freedom to move abut the place.’
    • ‘Lounging around the family home, the Dane's good house manners make it a good house pet.’
    • ‘She met no one along the way and only had one brief scare when she ran into a house cat, yet she made it to the library quietly unnoticed.’
    • ‘Anise kneels down beside me, touching my hair in her right hand and stroking it like a house cat.’
    • ‘She was almost like a house cat as she rubbed up against our legs and purred loudly.’
    • ‘However, most dog lovers do not intend to leash their house pets indefinitely.’
    • ‘It was a paddock for the grazing of house cows and the Governor's horses.’
    • ‘Shampoos are not residual as they are rinsed off, and it is not much fun washing the average house cat.’
    • ‘The cougar reportedly snatched a house cat and ran off into the bush with it.’
    • ‘Its beautiful appearance and devotion to its owners make it a well-loved house pet.’
    • ‘It was so small, about the size of a house cat, and Evy figured it to be just a foal.’
    • ‘They had to make their own bread and their own butter with cream from the house cow.’
    • ‘We tried to see if we could find a house cat for the family, that would not go out, but we couldn't guarantee it wouldn't escape.’
    • ‘From the tops of these rats the size of house cats watched them with unblinking eyes.’
    • ‘He has no more weight to him then a house cat, but a small scar runs across the right part of his lips.’
    • ‘The study also showed that rather than living in hutches, four out of 10 pet rabbits were house rabbits.’
    • ‘They sneak up on their prey just like a house cat sneaks up on a bird or toy one slow step at a time.’
    • ‘Clare has been interested in house rabbits for a year and has found a growing network of enthusiasts.’
  • 2Relating to a business, institution, or society.

    ‘a house journal’
    • ‘The main purpose of an external house journal is to promote the organization, its products, and its services.’
    • ‘It was house policy to serve all-comers but equally to bar anyone who was abusive or aggressive.’
    • ‘This section looks firstly at factors concerned with the fund manager's organisational structure and secondly at matters relating to the implementation of the house policy.’
    • ‘Business Week, which wants to be the house journal for Web 2.0 badgers, has no doubts.’
    • ‘A set of house rules may be accepted as valid by a group of players wherever they play.’
    1. 2.1(of a band or group) resident or regularly performing in a club or other venue.
      • ‘Jim Bridges and Cory Papirny are the house band rhythm section this time around.’
      • ‘The fare was a mixture of jazz and blues standards, but the house band did not play it safe.’
      • ‘He takes his place near the back of the house band, playing the spoons in perfect tempo.’
      • ‘Accompanying this was a sound and light show that would match any of the big pop concerts as well as a fantastic house band.’
      • ‘As always, the house band will be in residence with all the usual suspects!’


  • 1Provide (a person or animal) with shelter or living quarters.

    ‘attempts by the government to house the poor’
    • ‘Possible ideas include creating halfway houses, or transitional care areas, where patients could be housed until appropriate accommodation is arranged.’
    • ‘As a country, we have long forgotten that the model we use for housing the poor in state-built houses is that of the first mining township, Kimberley, well over a century ago.’
    • ‘About 30 people have been treated for minor injuries and a hundred are being housed in emergency accommodations.’
    • ‘Fears drug users and ex-offenders could be housed in an old people's sheltered complex in Leigh have been dismissed by council chiefs.’
    • ‘On the one hand, the state has, through its Reconstruction and Development Programme, prioritised housing the poor.’
    • ‘A few large blocks had arcaded courtyards like Italian Renaissance palaces; for these blocks housed both rich and poor.’
    • ‘Bates is initially expected to be housed in Probation Service accommodation in Yorkshire when he is released.’
    • ‘They now provide funds for the voluntary groups to help in the retaining and re-education of homeless people who will be housed in permanent accommodation.’
    • ‘They prodded authorities to raze the hundreds of alley shantytowns housing the city's poor and destitute.’
    • ‘Some 500 homeless victims of the quake were being housed in relief tents and others were sheltering from the freezing cold winds in buses.’
    • ‘More than 500 students and nurses will be housed in a huge new accommodation block situated in the heart of the city centre.’
    • ‘The women and children cited by Coleman in the column appear to be housed in shelters.’
    • ‘They will consider whether the family should be rehoused or housed in accommodation provided by the local authority.’
    • ‘That intent has changed from housing for workers, to housing for war vets, to housing the poor.’
    • ‘The obstacles in the U.S. to housing the poor adequately are profound.’
    • ‘The literally tens of thousands of dollars spent on pets in this country could be much better spent on feeding the hungry and housing the poor.’
    • ‘Elderly residents from sheltered accommodation blocks are being temporarily housed in a day care centre.’
    • ‘If an asylum-seeker turned up with his family I am sure they would be housed in far better accommodation than these poor people have to live in.’
    • ‘It enables vulnerable people to be housed in suitable accommodation so that they can try and turn their lives around.’
    • ‘An estimated 300,000 people were left homeless in Mumbai, India when authorities bulldozed acres of slums that were housing the city's poor.’
    accommodate, provide accommodation for, provide with accommodation, give accommodation to, make space for, make room for, give someone a roof over their head, provide a roof over someone's head, provide with a place to work, harbour
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  • 2Provide space for; accommodate.

    ‘the museum houses a collection of Roman sculpture’
    • ‘The network could not operate without the electrical equipment which was housed in the shelter and that is included in the determination.’
    • ‘The Fifth Avenue building houses galleries, administrative offices and the museum's school.’
    • ‘Indeed, this fascinating piece might be better housed in a gallery space.’
    • ‘A good diversity of coral life on the reef houses equally diverse marine animals.’
    • ‘The top half of the structure houses Lum's wholesale restaurant supply business.’
    • ‘Members of staff will be housed in the current accommodation until completion of the new development.’
    • ‘A storeroom on the ground floor houses 12 cylinders, each with a capacity of 35 kg.’
    • ‘The Van Gogh museum houses the largest collection of this troubled man's masterpieces, and is definitely worth a look.’
    • ‘The experience of being inside the David and Peggy Rockefeller Building, which houses the museum's new galleries, is uplifting.’
    • ‘During the construction work, nursery school children and staff will be housed in temporary accommodation opposite the existing building.’
    • ‘Previously they have been separated from us and housed in poor accommodation with a lack of IT facilities.’
    • ‘The new grant will be used to refurbish the east wing which will house the main residential accommodation.’
    • ‘The Mountbatten building houses labs and offices for the Optoelectronics research centre and the School of Electronics and Computer Science.’
    • ‘The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is housed in one such building, at 97 Orchard Street.’
    • ‘The Amida hall, blending the secular with the religious, houses one or more Buddha images within a structure resembling the mansions of the nobility.’
    • ‘The Golden Plaza Tower, which also houses shops and a school, is crowned by the revolving restaurant.’
    • ‘It has since been renamed Balnahowan and now houses the Central Fisheries Board.’
    • ‘That building now houses all its activities most of which, as the respondents agree, are charitable in nature.’
    • ‘The market houses about six organic merchants including Robert.’
    • ‘In the meantime the Fire Station will be temporarily housed in alternative accommodation until the new premises are ready.’
    contain, hold, store, cover
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    1. 2.1Insert or fix (something) in a socket or mortise.
      • ‘The joinery not only meets the requirements of modern engineering, it is the classic housed mortise and tenon joinery that has withstood the test of time.’
      • ‘A socket for receiving the wedge base electric lamp houses socket terminals serving to retain the electric lamp and to provide contact with lead wires of the electric lamp.’


  • like a house on fire (or afire)

    • 1informal Vigorously; furiously.

      • ‘Rovers opened like a house on fire, but for all the speed and accuracy they showed, they could not find a breach in the Blues' defence.’
      • ‘Vic Rangers set off like a house on fire and really took the game to Albion in the first ten minutes.’
      • ‘‘We set off like a house on fire, then allowed them to claw their way back to within two points,’ he said.’
      • ‘For that to happen the Boks will need to start like a house on fire.’
      • ‘They started the game like a house on fire, and star striker Siyabonga Nomvete almost scored in the third minute after connecting a pass from Bennet Mnguni, but the Congolese goalkeeper was alert.’
      • ‘Bucks came back like a house on fire in the second half with dribbling wizard Clement Mazibuko doing wonders with the ball.’
      • ‘The book starts off like a house on fire.’
      1. 1.1Excellently.
        ‘Ben and my aunt got along like a house on fire’
        • ‘Bury opened up like a house on fire and the contest was well over when they led 22-0 in the opening quarter.’
        • ‘We set off like a house on fire, our first set saw us force a goal line dropout putting them under real pressure and we scored.’
        • ‘Naturally, I am expecting to get along with her like a house on fire.’
        • ‘However, it was the 23-year-old Bingham who started like a house on fire and he won all four frames before the interval, helped by breaks of 51, 78, 70 and 95.’
        • ‘I met her in January 2005, and we've gotten along like a house on fire.’
        • ‘The Pirates brought in a whole host of new signings in the summer and started off like a house on fire under new manager Ian Atkins.’
        • ‘He seemed to be getting on with Lara like a house on fire, but from what he could tell she wasn't really into dancing frivolously with him much.’
        • ‘Leigh started like a house on fire against a big physical side, with Parr, Browning and Ranson working well as a unit and Lloyd, Thorpe, Peet and Wilkinson running well.’
        • ‘They have started the season like a house on fire and are averaging six goals each game during a run of seven consecutive victories.’
        • ‘England's bizarre match against Italy a week ago, when Clive Woodward's men started like a house on fire and then stuttered almost to a standstill, did offer some positive pointers for Scotland.’
        get on well, get on, get along, be on good terms, be friends, be friendly, be compatible, relate well to each other, feel a rapport, see eye to eye, take to each other, warm to each other, find things in common
        View synonyms
  • house and home

    • A person's home (used for emphasis)

      ‘some people sell house and home to sit in a boat writing books’
      • ‘You certainly love her, but don't forget about all those times when her brother invited himself over for dinner, unannounced of course, eating the two of you out of house and home.’
      • ‘I'm so sorry, I'll probably eat you both out of house and home!’
      • ‘If the trend continued they would be put out of house and home.’
      • ‘Also if you get too many deer in one place they can eat themselves out of house and home,’ Mr Cubby added.’
      • ‘What better way to make a quick buck than to sell off the government subsidized apartments and turf the 23,000 residents out of house and home?’
      • ‘Our point of view was we were attacked by an aggressive military and in fact we were just defending house and home.’
      • ‘I know grown women who, when they don't get their own way, go on a rampage, nearly destroying house and home.’
      • ‘But those boys have stolen everything I have in life and have now driven me out of my house and home.’
      • ‘At the same time, he postulated that ‘a woman's duty is to see to house and home.’’
      • ‘The book gives a fantastic insight into the city as it follows themes such as house and home, working for a living and entertainment through almost two millennia.’
  • a house divided cannot stand

    • proverb A group or organization weakened by internal dissensions will be unable to withstand external pressures.

      • ‘‘The church of Jesus Christ has been divided and a house divided cannot stand.’’
      • ‘In Arizona, the party of Lincoln should heed Lincoln's advice: ‘… a house divided cannot stand.’’
      • ‘It was Jesus, and much later Abraham Lincoln, that pointed out that a house divided cannot stand.’
      • ‘Every politician knows that a house that is divided against itself cannot stand.’
      • ‘A great man once said that a house divided cannot stand.’
      • ‘Just the strains in the Anglican Communion Show that a house divided cannot stand.’
  • house of cards

    • 1A structure built out of playing cards precariously balanced together.

      • ‘Hustvedt is an excellent writer but the structure of the book seems as flimsy as a house of cards, and the resolution at the end highly unsatisfactory.’
      • ‘They show the transience of childhood through the representation of a house of cards lovingly built by two girls that is just about to be flattened by their boisterous brother as he waves a flag in mock military manner.’
      • ‘He likened the relationship to a house of cards: Remove one species or habitat type in the system, and the whole thing comes tumbling down.’
      • ‘Similarly, our connectedness, our human compact, is sandwiched together like the floors in a house of cards that is easier to knock down than we might think.’
      • ‘Most ranchers deal with this by sticking to traditional practice - recognizing that a mistake would require them to change, and change could topple the whole operation like a house of cards.’
      • ‘Like a precariously balanced house of cards, the McCartney team collapsed on the eve of a high-profile 2001 launch, due to be held in Trafalgar Square.’
      • ‘When they opened the door, the draft blew over Jan's house of cards.’
      • ‘A false man, a man who did not earn his place where he is, is like a house of cards.’
      • ‘It will fall like a house of cards when the trump of truth is pulled out.’
      • ‘The building collapsed like a house of cards burying its residents.’
      1. 1.1An insubstantial or insecure situation or scheme.
        ‘his case was a house of cards until Attorney Jabowski stepped in’
        • ‘As events conspire to topple the rather precarious house of cards that Murdock has built for himself, he comes to realise that he is trapped in an ever-worsening cycle of despair.’
        • ‘It may be a house of cards or window dressing to those of us who understand security, but the vast majority of the population does not understand security.’
        • ‘These tactics protect the military's house of cards for a while but it collapses the moment the principal actor is removed.’
        • ‘However to make this house of cards work, the casino has to be pumping out as much money as it can.’
        • ‘Her husband was at the top, the head joker in the house of cards.’
        • ‘But as the more perceptive economic commentators have noted, the rosy economic statistics and apparent buoyancy of the Australian economy rest on a house of cards.’
        • ‘This is meant not just knock down the conspiracy theorist's house of cards, but also to destroy the notion that possibly, maybe, there could be some unnecessary and compromising complications here.’
        • ‘But the pyramid of evidence-based medicine is not solid-it's a house of cards.’
        • ‘But this is a house of cards, built on dreams and delusions, which will topple, not because of a renewal of the husband's past infidelity, but because of the wife's ineradicable distrust.’
        • ‘At that moment, I was grateful that I had squandered all the money I had been underpaid over the years and had nothing in the market, because I knew it was a house of cards.’
  • keep house

    • Do the cooking, cleaning, and other tasks involved in the running of a household.

      • ‘All he said was that he was brought up to believe that the man went to work and the woman kept house.’
      • ‘She keeps house for all of them and bears their children too.’
      • ‘The beneficiary of all this motorized magic was nearly every American who cleans or keeps house.’
      • ‘His kinswoman, the daughter of his half-sister, kept house for a painter who preferred his familiar environment, his familiar accessories and his familiar models, and used them again and again.’
      • ‘Well, our kids were grown and I was really tired of keeping house.’
      • ‘My mother kept house economically and cooked all the meals herself.’
      • ‘Girls learned how to cook and clean and keep house against the day that they might someday be wed to a wealthy man.’
      • ‘So the one who had attended private school kept house while the one who could barely read ruled it.’
      • ‘I have been instructing her in all the basic cooking and keeping house ways.’
      • ‘She cooks, keeps house, dispenses food and kindness and runs the Lodge single-handed.’
  • on the house

    • (of a drink or meal in a bar or restaurant) at the management's expense; free.

      • ‘We are invited by the hotel to a special, celebratory buffet - on the house.’
      • ‘The Cretans almost always give you a drink on the house at the start or end of a meal.’
      • ‘As a peace offering, Rewpert told Gordon to bring over a couple of drinks on the house.’
      • ‘Ramsay told Hatton he was welcome any time to a meal on the house at his place in London.’
      • ‘Lunch and refreshments will also be on the house, on both days of the festival.’
      • ‘I'm guessing he didn't spend it on handguns or blasting caps, maybe just a few drinks on the house.’
      • ‘I then informed her that as she was so nice, and this was her first visit to this bar, her drink was on the house.’
      • ‘As we were about to pay up and leave, the barman brought us a last round on the house.’
      • ‘During the meal, the chef may send out one or two little taste treats for diners to enjoy on the house.’
      • ‘It's the landlord's last night, so the final rounds of drinks are on the house.’
      free, free of charge, without payment, without charge, at no cost, for nothing, gratis
      courtesy, complimentary
      for free
      View synonyms
  • play house

    • (of a child) play at being a family in their home.

      • ‘A favorite game for her was simply to take the broom out into the dusty front ‘yard,’ sweep out lines to form rooms, and play house.’
      • ‘Living in the cottage in the early days felt like we were playing house.’
      • ‘They make a joke of it, and look like little kids playing house by calling it a marriage.’
      • ‘She loves mermaids, playing house, and it also came with lots of little things: a flower shower, a little boat, a tiny slide.’
      • ‘Mum and Dad have gone off on an epic trip north for a couple of weeks leaving us here to play house.’
      • ‘When my friends' 4-year-old wants to play house, I cheerfully pretend to drink tea from her little cup.’
      • ‘When children play house, doctor-nurse or police-thief, they are not looking for an audience.’
      • ‘She hated playing house in the first place anyways, but Auntie insisted that she played with the girls on the street and made friends.’
      • ‘I am a responsible member of society, but I still feel like a kid playing house, expecting the real world to catch up with me any second.’
      • ‘But I'm sure if you nicely explain your feelings, your folks would agree with you that playing house as kids means little when it comes to having a real boyfriend.’
  • put (or set or get) one's house in order

    • Make necessary reforms.

      ‘they need to put their own economic house in order’
      • ‘We don't have much time to put our house in order if we are to be hit again,’ he said.’
      • ‘Especially on long train trips, there is time to think, to mull over one's troubles, to put one's house in order, to ponder.’
      • ‘Let us first set our house in order before showing it off to others through the Net.’
      • ‘And the overall message to the arbiters of the city's destiny is blunt and clear - set your house in order or else people will start looking elsewhere when they consider a location for their next round of investment.’
      • ‘They have been told to put their house in order and have so far failed and even refused to do so.’
      • ‘It is time that we in this country put our house in order.’
      • ‘Will you become a true Christian and set your house in order?’
      • ‘They bounced back, put their house in order and became a paradigm of how it can all work out.’
      • ‘The corporate governance inspection report said we had to put our house in order.’
      • ‘Mr Fernandes said that his client had a poor record before 2000 but since then had tried to put his house in order.’
  • set up house

    • Make one's home in a specified place.

      • ‘He moved to London in 1964, set up house with schoolteacher Brian Taylor, and worked his way through London and local theatre.’
      • ‘We do not see him begin his work or even set up house with his new wife.’
      • ‘He had set up house in Paris with his American wife.’
      • ‘It wasn't until I started making a list of things I needed to buy that I realised how many accoutrements are involved in setting up house.’
      • ‘But, a practical man, he set up house with a blacksmith's daughter who had been his housekeeper, and to underline her promotion sent her off to finishing school in Eastbourne.’
      • ‘Abi and I got married in 1993, and we set up house in Edinburgh.’
      • ‘In 1751 John Home married, and David and his sister set up house in Edinburgh, moving to slightly more luxurious quarters as his fortunes improved.’
      • ‘They are even being prevented from setting up house in one place.’
      • ‘He set up house and started a family in Stratford, but he didn't stay there long: throughout his career he lived in London, travelling back to visit his family now and then.’
      • ‘Given that a 16-year-old can legally get married and set up house, an in-between stage which lets them learn to cope with short periods of independence seems like a good idea.’


Old English hūs (noun), hūsian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch huis, German Haus (nouns), and Dutch huizen, German hausen (verbs).