—n. 1. a building in which people live; residence for human beings.
2. a household.
3. (often cap.) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of France; the House of Hapsburg. 4. a building for any purpose: a house of worship. 5. a theater, concert hall, or auditorium: a vaudeville house. 6. the audience of a theater or the like.
7. a place of shelter for an animal, bird, etc.
8. the building in which a legislative or official deliberative body meets.
9. (cap.) the body itself, esp. of a bicameral legislature: the House of Representatives. 10. a quorum of such a body.
11. (often cap.) a commercial establishment; business firm: the House of Rothschild; a publishing house. 12. a gambling casino.
13. the management of a commercial establishment or of a gambling casino: rules of the house. 14. an advisory or deliberative group, esp. in church or college affairs.
15. a college in an English-type university.
16. a residential hall in a college or school; dormitory.
17. the members or residents of any such residential hall.
18. Informal.a brothel; whorehouse.
19. Brit.a variety of lotto or bingo played with paper and pencil, esp. by soldiers as a gambling game.
20. Also called parish.Curling.the area enclosed by a circle 12 or 14 ft. (3.7 or 4.2 m) in diameter at each end of the rink, having the tee in the center.
21. Naut.any enclosed shelter above the weather deck of a vessel: bridge house; deck house. 22. Astrol.one of the 12 divisions of the celestial sphere, numbered counterclockwise from the point of the eastern horizon.
23. bring down the house, to call forth vigorous applause from an audience; be highly successful: The children's performances brought down the house. 24. clean house. See clean (def. 46).
25. dress the house,Theat. a. to fill a theater with many people admitted on free passes; paper the house.
b. to arrange or space the seating of patrons in such a way as to make an audience appear larger or a theater or nightclub more crowded than it actually is.
26. keep house, to maintain a home; manage a household.
27. like a house on fire or afire, very quickly; with energy or enthusiasm: The new product took off like a house on fire. 28. on the house, as a gift from the management; free: Tonight the drinks are on the house. 29. put or set one's house in order, a. to settle one's affairs.
b. to improve one's behavior or correct one's faults: It is easy to criticize others, but it would be better to put one's own house in order first.
—v.t. 1. to put or receive into a house, dwelling, or living quarters: More than 200 students were housed in the dormitory. 2. to give shelter to; harbor; lodge: to house flood victims in schools. 3. to provide with a place to work, study, or the like: This building houses our executive staff. 4. to provide storage space for; be a receptacle for or repository of: The library houses 600,000 books. 5. to remove from exposure; put in a safe place.
6. Naut. a. to stow securely.
b. to lower (an upper mast) and make secure, as alongside the lower mast.
c. to heave (an anchor) home.
7. Carpentry. a. to fit the end or edge of (a board or the like) into a notch, hole, or groove.
b. to form (a joint) between two pieces of wood by fitting the end or edge of one into a dado of the other.
—v.i. to take shelter; dwell.
—adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or noting a house.
2. for or suitable for a house: house paint. 3. of or being a product made by or for a specific retailer and often sold under the store's own label: You'll save money on the radio if you buy the house brand. 4. served by a restaurant as its customary brand: the house wine.
Pronunciation: (hous),[key] —n. Edward Man•dell Pronunciation: (man'dl),[key](“Colonel House”), 1858–1938, U.S. diplomat.