house • n. / hous/ (pl. hous·es / ˈhouziz/ ) 1. a building for human habitation, esp. one that is lived in by a family or small group of people. ∎ the people living in such a building; a household: do you want the whole house woken up? ∎ (often House) a family or family lineage, esp. a noble or royal one; a dynasty: the power and prestige of the house of Stewart. ∎ a building in which animals live or in which things are kept: a reptile house.2. a building in which people meet for a particular activity: a house of prayer. ∎ a business or institution: he had purchased a publishing house. ∎ a restaurant or inn: [as adj.] I ordered a bottle of their house wine. ∎ a residential hall at a school or college, or its residents. ∎ a gambling establishment or its management. ∎ a host or proprietor: help yourself to a drink, compliments of the house! ∎ a theater: a hundred musicians performed in front of a full house. ∎ an audience in a theater or concert venue: the house burst into applause. ∎ a religious community that occupies a particular building: the Cistercian house at Clairvaux. ∎ dated a brothel. ∎ Brit., formal a college of a university.3. a legislative or deliberative assembly: the sixty-member National Council, the country's upper house. ∎ (the House) the House of Representatives or (in the UK or Canada) the House of Commons or Lords.4. (also house mu·sic) a style of popular dance music typically using synthesized drum and bass lines, sparse repetitive vocals, and a fast beat.5. Astrol. any of the twelve divisions of the celestial sphere, based on the positions of the ascendant and midheaven at a given time and place, and determined by any of a number of methods. ∎ such a division represented as a sector on an astrological chart, used in allocating elements of character and circumstance to different spheres of human life.• adj. / hous/ 1. (of an animal or plant) kept in, frequenting, or infesting buildings.2. of or relating to resident medical staff at a hospital.3. of or relating to a business, institution, or society: a house journal. ∎ (of a band or group) resident or regularly performing in a club or other venue.• v. / houz/ [tr.] 1. provide (a person or animal) with shelter or living quarters: attempts by the government to house the poor.2. provide space for; accommodate: the museum houses a collection of Roman sculpture. ∎ enclose or encase (something): the radar could be housed in a pod beneath the engine. ∎ insert or fix (something) in a socket or mortise.PHRASES: like a house on fire (or afire) inf. vigorously; furiously. ∎ excellently: Ben and my aunt got along like a house on fire.house and home a person's home (used for emphasis): some people sell house and home to sit in a boat writing books.house of cards a structure built out of playing cards precariously balanced together. ∎ an insubstantial or insecure situation or scheme: his case was a house of cards until Attorney Jabowski stepped in.keep house do the cooking, cleaning, and other tasks involved in the running of a household.on the house (of a drink or meal in a bar or restaurant) at the management's expense; free.play house (of a child) play at being a family in their home.put (or set or get) one's house in order make necessary reforms: to get their own economic house in order.set up house make one's home in a specified place.DERIVATIVES: house·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) house·less adj.
house of cards a structure built out of playing cards precariously balanced together.
the House that Jack built a nursery accumulation of great antiquity, possibly based on an old Hebrew original, a hymn in Sepher Haggadah, beginning ‘A kid my father bought for two pieces of money’, ‘then came the cat and ate the kid, etc.’, ‘then came the dog and bit the cat, etc.’, ending with the Angel of Death who killed the butcher who slew the ox, etc.; and the Holy One who slew the Angel of Death. That the English version is an early one is indicated by the reference to the ‘priest, all shaven and shorn’.
keep (or make) a House secure the presence of enough members for a quorum in the House of Commons.
when house and land are gone and spent, then learning is most excellent proverbial saying, mid 18th century, contrasting the value of learning with the ephemeral nature of material possessions (compare learning is better than house and land).
See also angel in the house, better one house spoiled than two, an Englishman's house is his castle, fools build houses, people who live in glass houses, a plague on all their houses!, sweep the house with broom in May.
the inmates of a house collectively; a household or family; an assembly of legislative or deliberative persons; the members of a family, including ancestors and descendants. See also assembly.
Examples: House of Commons, 1548; of congregation [Oxford], 1831; of convocation, 1705; of David, 1382; of Lancaster, 1548; of Lords, 1635; of Parliament, 1545; of piety, 1599; of religion, 1419; of Representatives; of ill repute, 1726; of Stuart, 1789; of water [a cavity filled with water, Cornish mining term], 1881.
House ★★★ 1986 (R)
Horror novelist Roger Cobb (Katt) moves into his dead aunt's supposedly haunted house only to find that the monsters don't necessarily stay in the closets. His worst nightmares come to life as he writes about his Vietnam experiences and is forced to relive the tragic events, but these aren't the only visions that start springing to life. It sounds depressing, but is actually a funny, intelligent “horror” flick. Followed by several lesser sequels. 93m/C VHS, DVD . William Katt, George Wendt, Richard Moll, Kay Lenz, Michael Ensign, Mary Stavin, Susan French; D: Steve Miner; W: Ethan Wiley; C: Mac Ahlberg; M: Harry Manfredini.
Hence house vb. OE. hūsian = MLG., MDu. hūsen, OHG. hūsōn (Du. huizen, G. hausen), ON. húsa. household †contents, etc., of a house XIV; inmates of a house coll. XIV; †housekeeping XV. cf. MDu. huushoud. housewife XIII.