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 mansion. [1913 Webster]

Houses are built to live in; not to look on. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

Bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench Are from their hives and houses driven away. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Household affairs; domestic concerns; particularly in the phrase to keep house. See below. [1913 Webster]

3. Those who dwell in the same house; a household. [1913 Webster]

One that feared God with all his house. --Acts x. 2. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The last remaining pillar of their house, The one transmitter of their ancient name. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

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}. [1913 Webster]

6. (Com.) A firm, or commercial establishment. [1913 Webster]

7. A public house; an inn; a hotel. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

9. A square on a chessboard, regarded as the proper place of a piece. [1913 Webster]

10. An audience; an assembly of hearers, as at a lecture, a theater, etc.; as, a thin or a full house. [1913 Webster]

11. The body, as the habitation of the soul. [1913 Webster]

This mortal house I'll ruin, Do C[ae]sar what he can. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


Usage: [With an adj., as narrow, dark, etc.] The grave. ``The narrow house.'' --Bryant. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

{House ant} (Zo["o]l.), 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 establishment.

{To keep open house}, to entertain friends at all times.

Syn: Dwelling; residence; abode. See {Tenement}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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