Definition of workhouse noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈwɜːkhaʊs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɜːrkhaʊs//
(British English) (also poorhouse North American English, British English) Poverty and famine
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(in Britain in the past) a building where very poor people were sent to live and given work to do See related entries: Poverty and famine Culture Conditions in workhouses were very bad and the people living there had to work very hard and obey strict rules. As a result, poor people were frightened of being sent there. Life in the workhouse is described in some of the novels of Charles Dickens.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: workhouse

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