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



    BrE BrE//haʊs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//haʊs//
    (pl. houses
    BrE BrE//ˈhaʊzɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhaʊzɪz//
    Buildings, School life
    jump to other results
  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)? (British English) We're moving house (= leaving our house and going to live in a different one). We went on a tour of the house and grounds (= for example, at a country house, open to the public). CollocationsMoving house Renting live in a rented/(especially North American English) rental property rent/​share/​move into a furnished house/(British English) flat/(especially North American English) apartment rent a studio/(British English) a studio flat/(especially North American English) a studio apartment/(British English) a bedsit find/​get a housemate/(British English) a flatmate/(North American English) a roommate sign/​break the lease/​rental agreement/​contract extend/​renew/​terminate the lease/(British English) tenancy afford/​pay the rent/​the bills/(North American English) the utilities (especially British English) fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the rent pay/​lose/​return a damage deposit/(North American English) security deposit give/​receive a month’s/​two-weeks’ notice to leave/​vacate the propertyBeing a landlord have a flat/​apartment/​room (British English) to let/(especially North American English) for rent rent (out)/lease (out)/ (British English) let (out)/sublet a flat/​apartment/​house/​property collect/​increase/​raise the rent evict the existing tenants attract/​find new/​prospective tenants invest in rental property/(British English) property to let/(British English) the buy-to-let marketBuying buy/​acquire/​purchase a house/(a) property/(especially North American English) (a piece of) prime real estate call/​contact/​use (British English) an estate agent/(North American English) a Realtor™/(North American English) a real estate agent/​broker make/ (British English) put in an offer on a house put down/​save for (British English) a deposit on a house make/​put/​save for (especially North American English) a down payment on a house/​home apply for/​arrange/​take out a mortgage/​home loan (struggle to) pay the mortgage make/​meet/​keep up/​cover the monthly mortgage payments/(British English also) repayments (British English) repossess/ (especially North American English) 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/(especially British English) deeds of/​to the house, land, etc. Wordfinderaccommodation, deed, home, house, lease, let, location, mortgage, squat, tenant CollocationsDecorating and home improvementHouses refurbish/​renovate/ (British English) do up a building/​a house convert a building/​house/​room into homes/​offices/(especially North American English) apartments/(British English) flats extend/​enlarge a house/​building/​room/​kitchen build (British English) an extension (to the back/​rear of a house)/(North American English) an addition (on/​to something)/(British English) a conservatory knock down/​demolish a house/​home/​building/​wall knock out/​through the wall separating two roomsDecoration furnish/​paint/ (especially British English) decorate a home/​house/​apartment/​flat/​room be decorated in bright colours/(especially US English) 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/(British English) fittings build/​put up shelves lay wooden flooring/​timber decking/​floor tiles/​a carpet/​a patio put up/​hang/​take down a picture/​painting/​poster/​curtainDIY/​home improvement do (British English) DIY/​carpentry/​the plumbing/​the wiring make home improvements add/​install central heating/​underfloor heating/​insulation fit/​install double-glazing/​a smoke alarm insulate your house/​your home/​the walls/​the pipes/​the tanks/(especially British English) the loft fix/​repair a roof/​a leak/​a pipe/​the plumbing/​a leaking (especially British English) tap/(usually North American English) faucet block/​clog (up)/unblock/​unclog a pipe/​sink make/​drill/​fill a hole hammer (in)/pull out/​remove a nail tighten/​untighten/​loosen/​remove a screw saw/​cut/​treat/​stain/​varnish/​paint wood see also penthouse, safe house, show house See related entries: Buildings
  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, dosshouse, halfway house, hothouse, lighthouse, madhouse, outhouse, storehouse, warehouse
  4. 4 House [singular] (British English) used in the names of office buildings Their offices are on the second floor of Chester House.
  5. company/institution
  6. 5[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
  7. restaurant
  8. 6[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 free house, public house, roadhouse, tied house
  9. parliament
  10. 7[countable] (also House) a group of people who meet to discuss and make the laws of a country Legislation requires approval by both houses of parliament. see also lower house, upper house
  11. 8the House [singular] the House of Commons or the House of Lords in Britain; the House of Representatives in the US
  12. in debate
  13. 9the house [singular] a group of people discussing something in a formal debate I urge the house to vote against the motion.
  14. in theatre
  15. 10[countable] the part of a theatre 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 front-of-house, full house
  16. in school
  17. 11[countable] (in some British schools) an organized group of students of different ages who compete against other groups in sports competitions, etc. and who may, in boarding schools, live together in one building See related entries: School life
  18. family
  19. 12[countable] (also the House of…) an old and famous family the House of Windsor (= the British royal family)
  20. music
  21. 13 [uncountable] = house music
  22. see also acid house, art-house, open house, powerhouse There are many other compounds ending in house. You will find them at their place in the alphabet.
    Word OriginOld English hūs (noun), hūsian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch huis, German Haus (nouns), and Dutch huizen, German hausen (verbs).Extra examples I finally tracked him down at his house in Denver. I live in a group/​shared house. I work front of house. In the morning, the doctor makes house calls. It was easy to get lost in the rambling house. It was so hot outside we stayed in the house. It’s stressful moving house. Our challenge was to add onto the house in a respectful way. Police are making house-to-house enquiries following the discovery of the body. Police officers have been searching the house for clues. She kept house for her elderly parents. She kept house= cooked, cleaned, etc. for her elderly parents. She shares a house with three other nurses. She was a house model for Gucci. She went from house to house collecting signatures for her campaign. The bank offers attractive rates to first-time house buyers. The children were playing house, giving dinner to their dolls. The former dictator is under house arrest in his country mansion. The great house stood on the edge of the town. The house faces south, making the most of the sun. The house loomed over him as he waited at the front door. The house stood a short distance from the wood. The palace is a treasure house of fine antiques. The police provided a safe house for the informer. Their house was repossessed when they couldn’t keep up their mortgage payments. They bought a dilapidated house when they got married, and are gradually doing it up. They bought an old house and are gradually renovating it. They built their own dream house overlooking the river. They helped us with our house move. They lived in a modest semi-detached house in the suburbs. They played to a packed house. They want to set up house together. They’ve moved house and have invited us to their house-warming on Saturday. We had to move out of our house. We let out our house when we moved to America. We’re hoping to extend the house. We’re only planning on renting the house out for a few years. You’ll wake up the whole house with that noise. a debate in the House of Commons a halfway house for prisoners returning to society a house occupied by students houses overlooking the park the front-of-house staff Be quiet or you’ll wake the whole house! Elections to the lower house of parliament are by proportional representation. House prices in London are still falling. Let’s have the party at my house. The ‘Bundersrat’ is the upper house of the German parliament. The publishing house made its name by encouraging first-time writers. We live in a two-bedroom house. We went on a tour of the house and grounds. What time do you leave the house in the morning?Idioms to make everyone laugh or cheer, especially at a performance in the theatre
      clean house (North American English)
      jump to other results
    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
    jump to other results
    (informal, often humorous) to eat a lot of somebody else’s food How much longer is he staying? He’s eating us out of house and home. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.
    get on like a house on fire (British English) (North American English get along like a house on fire)
    jump to other results
    (informal) (of people) to become friends quickly and have a very friendly relationship See related entries: Friends
    go all round the houses
    jump to other results
    (British English, informal) to do something or ask a question in a very complicated way instead of in a simple, direct way You did go all round the houses didn’t you? Why not get straight to the point?
    to cook, clean and do all the other jobs around the house
    not a dry eye in the house
    jump to other results
    (humorous) used to say that everyone was very emotional about something There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they announced their engagement.
    drinks or meals that are on the house are provided free by the pub/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
    jump to other results
    (saying) you should not criticize other people, because they will easily find ways of criticizing you
    put/set your (own) house in order
    jump to other results
    to organize your own business or improve your own behaviour before you try to criticize somebody else
    (British English) very safe More Like ThisSimiles in idioms (as) bald as a coot, (as) blind as a bat, (as) bright as a button, (as) bold as brass, as busy as a bee, as clean as a whistle, (as) dead as a/​the dodo, (as) deaf as a post, (as) dull as ditchwater, (as) fit as a fiddle, as flat as a pancake, (as) good as gold, (as) mad as a hatter/​a March hare, (as) miserable/​ugly as sin, as old as the hills, (as) pleased as Punch, as pretty as a picture, (as) regular as clockwork, (as) quick as a flash, (as) safe as houses, (as) sound as a bell, (as) steady as a rock, (as) thick as two short planks, (as) tough as old bootsSee worksheet. to make a place your home They set up house together in a small flat in Brighton.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: house