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. Houses are built to live in; not to look on. (Bacon) 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. (Tennyson)
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. a firm, or commercial establishment.
7. a public house; an inn; a hotel.
8. (Science: astronomy) 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 a piece.
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 ill ruin, Do Caesar what he can. (Shak)
12. With an adj, as narrow, dark, etc The grave. The narrow house.
house is much used adjectively and as the first element of compounds. The sense is usually obvious; as, house cricket, housemaid, house painter, housework.
(Science: medicine) house ant, the common wren of the Eastern united states (troglodytes aedon). It is common about houses and in gardens, and is noted for its vivacity, and loud musical notes. See wren. Religious house, a monastery or convent. The white house, the official residence of the President of the united States; hence, colloquially, the office of President. to bring down the house. See bring. to keep house, to maintain an independent domestic establishment. to keep open house, to entertain friends at all times.
Synonym: Dwelling, residence, abode. See Tenement.
Origin: oe. Hous, hus, as. Hs; akin to os.