The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
House \House\ (hous), n.; pl. Houses. [OE. hous, hus, AS. h?s;
akin to OS. & OFries. h?s, D. huis, OHG. h?s, G. haus, Icel.
h?s, Sw. hus, Dan. huus, Goth. gudh?s, house of God, temple;
and prob. to E. hide to conceal. See Hide, and cf. Hoard,
Husband, Hussy, Husting.]
1. A structure intended or used as a habitation or shelter
for animals of any kind; but especially, a building or
edifice for the habitation of man; a dwelling place, a
Houses are built to live in; not to look on.
Bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
Are from their hives and houses driven away. --Shak.
2. Household affairs; domestic concerns; particularly in the
phrase to keep house. See below.
3. Those who dwell in the same house; a household.
One that feared God with all his house. --Acts x. 2.
4. A family of ancestors, descendants, and kindred; a race of
persons from the same stock; a tribe; especially, a noble
family or an illustrious race; as, the house of Austria;
the house of Hanover; the house of Israel.
The last remaining pillar of their house,
The one transmitter of their ancient name.
5. One of the estates of a kingdom or other government
assembled in parliament or legislature; a body of men
united in a legislative capacity; as, the House of Lords;
the House of Commons; the House of Representatives; also,
a quorum of such a body. See Congress, and Parliament.
6. (Com.) A firm, or commercial establishment.
7. A public house; an inn; a hotel.
8. (Astrol.) A twelfth part of the heavens, as divided by six
circles intersecting at the north and south points of the
horizon, used by astrologers in noting the positions of
the heavenly bodies, and casting horoscopes or nativities.
The houses were regarded as fixed in respect to the
horizon, and numbered from the one at the eastern horizon,
called the ascendant, first house, or house of life,
downward, or in the direction of the earth's revolution,
the stars and planets passing through them in the reverse
order every twenty-four hours.
9. A square on a chessboard, regarded as the proper place of
10. An audience; an assembly of hearers, as at a lecture, a
theater, etc.; as, a thin or a full house.
11. The body, as the habitation of the soul.
This mortal house I'll ruin,
Do C[ae]sar what he can. --Shak.
Usage: [With an adj., as narrow, dark, etc.] The grave. "The
narrow house." --Bryant.
Note: House is much used adjectively and as the first element
of compounds. The sense is usually obvious; as, house
cricket, housemaid, house painter, housework.
House ant (Zool.), a very small, yellowish brown ant
(Myrmica molesta), which often infests houses, and
sometimes becomes a great pest.
House of bishops (Prot. Epis. Ch.), one of the two bodies
composing a general convertion, the other being House of
Clerical and Lay Deputies.
House boat, a covered boat used as a dwelling.
House of call, a place, usually a public house, where
journeymen connected with a particular trade assemble when
out of work, ready for the call of employers. [Eng.]
To bring down the house. See under Bring.
To keep house, to maintain an independent domestic
To keep open house, to entertain friends at all times.
Syn: Dwelling; residence; abode. See Tenement.