American English

Definition of house noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. houses
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  1. 1[countable] a building for people to live in, usually for one family He went into the house. a two-bedroom house Let's have the party at my house. house prices What time do you leave the house in the morning (= to go to work)? We went on a tour of the house and grounds (= for example, at a country house, open to the public). see also penthouse, safe house Topic CollocationsDecorating and Home Improvementhouses refurbish/renovate a building/a house convert a building/house/room into homes/offices/ apartments/condominiums/condos extend/enlarge a house/building/room/kitchen build an addition (on/to something)/a sunroom/a deck knock down/demolish a house/home/building/wall knock out/down the wall separating two roomsdecorating furnish/paint/repaint a home/house/apartment/room be decorated in bright colors/in a traditional style/with flowers/with paintings paint/plaster the walls/ceiling hang/put up/strip off/remove (the) wallpaper install/replace/remove the bathroom fixtures build/put up shelves lay wooden flooring/timber decking/floor tiles/a carpet/a patio floor put up/hang/take down a picture/painting/poster/curtainhome improvement do carpentry/the plumbing/the wiring (yourself) make home improvements add/install central heating/underfloor heating/insulation install double-glazing/a smoke alarm insulate your house/your home/the walls/the pipes/the tanks/the attic fix/repair a roof/a leak/a pipe/the plumbing/a leaking faucet block/clog (up)/unblock/unclog a pipe/sink/drain make/drill/fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/remove a nail tighten/loosen/remove a screw saw/cut/treat/stain/varnish/paint wood
  2. 2[singular] all the people living in a house synonym household Be quiet or you'll wake the whole house!
  3. 3[countable] (in compounds) a building used for a particular purpose, for example for holding meetings in or keeping animals or goods in an opera house a henhouse see also doghouse, halfway house, hothouse, lighthouse, madhouse, outhouse, storehouse, warehouse
  4. company/institution
  5. 4[countable] (in compounds) a company involved in a particular kind of business; an institution of a particular kind a fashion/banking/publishing, etc. house a religious house (= a convent or a monastery ) I work in house (= in the offices of the company that I work for, not at home) see also clearing house, in-house
  6. restaurant
  7. 5[countable] (in compounds) a restaurant a steakhouse a coffee house a bottle of house wine (= the cheapest wine available in a particular restaurant, sometimes not listed by name) see also roadhouse
  8. parliament
  9. 6[countable] House a group of people who meet to discuss and make the laws of a country Legislation requires approval by both houses of Congress. see also lower house, upper house
  10. 7the House [singular] the House of Representatives
  11. in theater
  12. 8[countable] the part of a theater where the audience sits; the audience at a particular performance playing to a full/packed/empty house (= to a large/small audience) The spotlight faded and the house lights came up. see also full house
  13. family
  14. 9[countable] the House of… an old and famous family the House of Windsor (= the British royal family)
  15. music
  16. 10[uncountable] = house music see also acid house, art-house, powerhouse There are many other compounds ending in house. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
  17. Topic CollocationsHouses and Apartmentsrenting live in a rental property rent/share/move into a furnished house/an apartment rent a studio/a studio apartment find/get a housemate/a roommate sign/break/default on a lease/rental agreement/contract extend/renew/terminate the lease afford/pay the rent/the bills/the utilities fall behind on the rent pay/lose/return a security/key deposit give/receive a month's/two-weeks' notice to leave/vacate the propertybeing a landlord have an apartment/a room/a house for rent rent (out)/lease (out)/sublet an apartment/a house/a property collect/increase/raise the rent evict the existing tenants attract/find new/prospective tenants invest in rental propertybuying buy/acquire/purchase a house/(a) property/(a piece of) prime real estate call/contact/use a real estate agent/broker put in/make an offer on a house make/save for a down payment on a house/home apply for/be approved for/take out a mortgage/home loan (struggle to) pay the mortgage make/meet/keep up/cover the monthly mortgage payments foreclose on somebody's home/houseselling put your house/property on the market/up for sale/up for auction increase/lower your price/the asking price have/hold/hand over the deed to the house, land, etc.Idioms
    bring the house down
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    to make everyone laugh or cheer, especially at a performance in the theater
      clean house
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    1. 1to remove people or things that are not necessary or wanted The new manager said he wanted to clean house.
    2. 2to make your house clean
    eat somebody out of house and home (informal) (often humorous)
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    to eat a lot of someone else's food How much longer is he staying? He's eating us out of house and home.
    get along like a house on fire (informal)
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    (of people) to become friends quickly and have a very friendly relationship
    to cook, clean, and do all the other jobs around the house
    lady of the house (old-fashioned)
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    a woman who is in charge of a household The salesman asked if the lady of the house was at home.
    on the house
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    drinks or meals that are on the house are provided free by the bar or restaurant and you do not have to pay Have a drink on the house.
    people (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones (saying)
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    you should not criticize other people, because they will easily find ways of criticizing you
    put/set your (own) house in order
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    to organize your own business or improve your own behavior before you try to criticize someone else
    set up house
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    to make a place your home They set up house together in a small apartment in Brooklyn.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: house