Definition of house noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



plural houses


1 [countable] a building for people to live in, usually for one familyHe went into the house.a two-bedroom houseLet's have the party at my pricesWhat 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 house2 [singular] all the people living in a house synonym householdBe quiet or you'll wake the whole house!3 [countable] (in compounds) a building used for a particular purpose, for example for holding meetings in or keeping animals or goods inan opera housea henhouse see also doghouse, halfway house, hothouse, lighthouse, madhouse, outhouse, storehouse, warehouse


4 [countable] (in compounds) a company involved in a particular kind of business; an institution of a particular kinda fashion/banking/publishing, etc. housea 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


5 [countable] (in compounds) a restauranta steakhousea coffee housea bottle of house wine (= the cheapest wine available in a particular restaurant, sometimes not listed by name) see also roadhouse


6 [countable] often House a group of people who meet to discuss and make the laws of a countryLegislation requires approval by both houses of Congress. see also lower house, upper house7 the House [singular] the House of Representatives

in theater

8 [countable] the part of a theater where the audience sits; the audience at a particular performanceplaying to a full/packed/empty house (= to a large/small audience)The spotlight faded and the house lights came up. see also full house


9 [countable] usually the House of… an old and famous familythe House of Windsor (= the British royal family)


10 [uncountable] = house music
see also acid house, art-house, powerhousehelp There are many other compounds ending in house. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.IDIOMS

bring the house down

to make everyone laugh or cheer, especially at a performance in the theater
bring the house down

clean house

1 to remove people or things that are not necessary or wantedThe new manager said he wanted to clean house.2 to make your house cleanclean house

eat someone out of house and home

(informal, often humorous) to eat a lot of someone else's foodHow much longer is he staying? He's eating us out of house and out of house and home

get along like a house on fire

(informal) (of people) to become friends quickly and have a very friendly relationshipget along like a house on fire

keep house

to cook, clean, and do all the other jobs around the house
keep house

on the house

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.on the house

people (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

(saying) you should not criticize other people, because they will easily find ways of criticizing youpeople in glass houses shouldn't throw stonespeople who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

put/set your (own) house in order

to organize your own business or improve your own behavior before you try to criticize someone else
put your house in orderput your own house in orderset your house in orderset your own house in order

set up house

to make a place your home
They set up house together in a small apartment in Brooklyn.set up house
Usage noteUsage note: Decorating and Home Improvementhousesrefurbish/renovate a building/a houseconvert a building/house/room into homes/offices/ apartments/condominiums/condosextend/enlarge a house/building/room/kitchenbuild an addition (on/to something)/a sunroom/a deckknock down/demolish a house/home/building/wallknock out/down the wall separating two roomsdecoratingfurnish/paint/repaint a home/house/apartment/roombe decorated in bright colors/in a traditional style/with flowers/with paintingspaint/plaster the walls/ceilinghang/put up/strip off/remove (the) wallpaperinstall/replace/remove the bathroom fixturesbuild/put up shelveslay wooden flooring/timber decking/floor tiles/a carpet/a patio floorput up/hang/take down a picture/painting/poster/curtainhome improvementdo carpentry/the plumbing/the wiring (yourself)make home improvementsadd/install central heating/underfloor heating/insulationinstall double-glazing/a smoke alarminsulate your house/your home/the walls/the pipes/the tanks/the atticfix/repair a roof/a leak/a pipe/the plumbing/a leaking faucetblock/clog (up)/unblock/unclog a pipe/sink/drainmake/drill/fill a holehammer (in)/pull out/remove a nailtighten/loosen/remove a screwsaw/cut/treat/stain/varnish/paint woodUsage noteUsage note: Houses and Apartmentsrentinglive in a rental propertyrent/share/move into a furnished house/an apartmentrent a studio/a studio apartmentfind/get a housemate/a roommatesign/break/default on a lease/rental agreement/contractextend/renew/terminate the leaseafford/pay the rent/the bills/the utilitiesfall behind on the rentpay/lose/return a security/key depositgive/receive a month's/two-weeks' notice to leave/vacate the propertybeing a landlordhave an apartment/a room/a house for rentrent (out)/lease (out)/sublet an apartment/a house/a propertycollect/increase/raise the rentevict the existing tenantsattract/find new/prospective tenantsinvest in rental propertybuyingbuy/acquire/purchase a house/(a) property/(a piece of) prime real estatecall/contact/use a real estate agent/brokerput in/make an offer on a housemake/save for a down payment on a house/homeapply for/be approved for/take out a mortgage/home loan(struggle to) pay the mortgagemake/meet/keep up/cover the monthly mortgage paymentsforeclose on someone's home/housesellingput your house/property on the market/up for sale/up for auctionincrease/lower your price/the asking pricehave/hold/hand over the deed to the house, land, etc.