Meaning of “house” in the English Dictionary

"house" in British English

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uk /haʊs/ us /haʊs/ plural houses uk /ˈhaʊzɪz/ us

house noun (HOME)

A1 [ C ] a building that people, usually one family, live in:

to buy/rent a house
house prices
She lives in a little house in (US on) Cross Street.

[ C usually singular ] all the people living in a house:

Try not to wake the whole house when you come in!

[ C ] a building where animals are kept:

the monkey/lion house at the zoo
a hen house

More examples

  • It costs a lot to buy a house in this part of London.
  • I'm worried about leaving him alone in the house all day.
  • She had to be rescued by her neighbours when her house caught fire.
  • It's a typical country estate with a large house for the owner, farm buildings and estate workers' houses.
  • Would you like to come round to my house after school?

houseverb [ T ]

uk /haʊz/ us /haʊz/

C2 to give a person or animal a place to live, or to provide space for something:

It will be difficult to house all the refugees.
The museum houses the biggest collection of antique toys in Europe.

More examples

  • The world's finest collection of Impressionist paintings is housed in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
  • Military bases were protected by captured enemy soldiers who were housed there as a human shield.
  • Hostels are usually provided as a stopgap until the families can be housed in permanent accommodation.
  • New arrivals were being housed in refugee camps.
  • We aim to house students with local families.

(Definition of “house” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"house" in American English

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housenoun [ C ]

us /hɑʊs/ plural houses /ˈhɑʊ·zəz, -səz/

house noun [ C ] (HOME)

a building in which people, usually one family, live:

to buy/rent a house
a brick/clapboard house
my/your/grandma’s house

A house can also be a building where animals are kept:

a dog house

A house (also also household) can also be all the people living in a house:

Try not to wake the whole house when you come in!

house noun [ C ] (BUSINESS)

A house can also be a building or part of a building which is used by an organization:

the Metropolitan Opera House

house noun [ C ] (POLITICS)

an organization that makes laws, or its meeting place

infml The House is the US house of representatives.

house noun [ C ] (THEATER)

the seats in a theater, or the people watching a performance:

The opera played to a full/empty house.


houseverb [ T ]

us /hɑʊz/

to give a person a place to live:

Homeless families have been housed in motels.
The building houses the library (= gives it space).

(Definition of “house” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"house" in Business English

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housenoun [ C ]

uk /haʊs/ us plural houses /ˈhaʊzɪz/

COMMERCE a company that is involved in a particular type of business:


abbreviation Ho used in the names of office or company buildings:

The conference proceeded at the Cannon House Office Building.

COMMERCE a restaurant or café:

a coffee/tea house
in house

WORKPLACE used to describe work that is done by a company's paid employees:

He'll keep the work in house, and get it done more cost-effectively than by using a sub-contractor.
on the house

used to describe something, usually a meal or a drink, that is free:

The manager sent over a tray of drinks on the house.

(Definition of “house” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)