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Related to houses: House plans


n. pl. hous·es (hou′zĭz, -sĭz)
a. A structure serving as a dwelling for one or more persons, especially for a family.
b. A household or family.
2. Something, such as a burrow or shell, that serves as a shelter or habitation for a wild animal.
3. A dwelling for a group of people, such as students or members of a religious community, who live together as a unit: a sorority house.
a. A building that functions as the primary shelter or location of something: a carriage house; the lion house at the zoo.
b. A building devoted to a particular activity: a customs house; a house of worship.
a. A facility, such as a theater or restaurant, that provides entertainment or food for the public: a movie house; the specialty of the house.
b. The seating area in such an establishment: dimmed the lights in the house to signal the start of the show.
c. The audience or patrons of such an establishment: a full house.
a. A commercial firm: a brokerage house.
b. A publishing company: a house that specializes in cookbooks.
c. A gambling casino.
d. Slang A house of prostitution.
7. A residential college within a university.
a. often House A legislative or deliberative assembly.
b. The hall or chamber in which such an assembly meets.
c. A quorum of such an assembly.
9. often House A family line including ancestors and descendants, especially a royal or noble family: the House of Orange.
a. One of the 12 parts into which the heavens are divided in astrology.
b. The sign of the zodiac indicating the seat or station of a planet in the heavens. Also called mansion.
11. House music.
v. (houz) housed, hous·ing, hous·es
v. tr.
1. To provide living quarters for; lodge: The cottage housed ten students.
2. To shelter, keep, or store in a house or other structure: a library housing rare books.
3. To fit (something) into a socket or mortise.
4. Nautical To secure or stow safely.
v. intr.
1. To reside; dwell.
2. To take shelter.
like a house on fire (or afire) Informal
In an extremely speedy manner: ran away like a house on fire; tickets that sold like a house afire.
on the house
At the expense of the establishment; free: food and drinks on the house.
put (or set) (one's) house in order
To organize one's affairs in a sensible, logical way.

[Middle English hous, from Old English hūs.]


  • ginnel - A long narrow passage between houses.
  • row house - Part of an unbroken line or series of houses.
  • domal - Means of or pertaining to a house or houses.
  • vicinal, vicinity - Vicinal, from Latin vicus, "group of houses," means "of or pertaining to a neighborhood"—hence, vicinity.


the abnormal fear of being in a house.
1. an abnormal fear of home surround-ings.
2. an aversion to home life.




  1. [A modern building] all glossy undulations and shining declivities, like a razor haircut in concrete and glass —Jonathan Valin
  2. (The place was) as conspicuously unadorned as a Presbyterian church —Jonathan Valin
  3. (Tenement house with mean little) balconies pulled out one by one like drawers —Vladimir Nabokov
  4. Bricks [in path to front door of house] laid close as your hairs —Sharon Olds
  5. A building long and low like a loaf of bread —Marge Piercy
  6. Buildings as badly painted as old whores —Larry McMurtry
  7. Buildings, lined up like ships —Helen Hudson
  8. Buying a new home is like raising children; there’s always room for improvement —Arlene Zalesky, Newsday/Viewpoints. September 27, 1986
  9. The church has a steeple like the hat of a witch —William H. Gass
  10. (Church) cold, damp and smelly as a tomb —Sean O’Faolain
  11. Cottages looking like something the three little pigs might have built —Sue Grafton
  12. Darkened houses loomed like medieval battlements —J. W. Rider
  13. Decrepit houses lay scattered around the landscape like abandoned machines on a battlefield —Peter Meinke
  14. Door … shut like an angry face —John Updike
  15. A duplex co-op that made Lenny’s [Leonard Bernstein] look like a fourth-floor walkup —Tom Wolfe
  16. An estate without a forest is like a house without a chimney —Sholom Aleichem
  17. A first home, like the person who aroused our initial awakening to sex, holds forever strong sway over our emotions —Dorothea Straus
  18. Frame houses collapsing at their centers like underdone cakes —Jean Thompson
  19. A glass-and-concrete air-conditioned block of a building cantilevered from the hillside like a Swiss sanitorium —Walker Percy
  20. The great glass doors … swished together behind him like an indrawn breath —A. Alvarez
  21. Her house is like her chiffon cakes, all soft surfaces and pleasant colors —Bobbie Ann Mason
  22. A home is like a reservoir equipped with a check valve: the valve permits influx but prevents outflow —E. B. White
  23. A house like this is like some kinds of women, too expensive even —James Hilton
  24. House narrow as a coffin —Angela Carter
  25. Apartments … looking like giant bricks stabbed into the ground —W. P. Kinsella
  26. Houses, like people, have personalities, and like the personalities of people they are partly molded by all that has happened to them —Louis Bromfield
  27. Houses that aged nicely, like a handsome woman —James Crumley
  28. Houses, their doors and windows open, drawing in freshness, were like old drunkards or consumptives taking a cure —Saul Bellow
  29. The house stood like a huge shell, empty and desolate —H. E. Bates
  30. House … trim and fresh as a birdcake and almost as small —William Faulkner
  31. It [house] sat among ten acres of blackberry brambles, like an abandoned radio —Tom Robbins
  32. [A ranch-style house] just too cute for words … it looked as if it had been delivered, already equipped, from a store —Christopher Isherwood
  33. Kept it [an old historic house] up like a museum —Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


  34. Long rows of apartment houses stood bald and desolate, like sad old prostitutes —Erich Maria Remarque
  35. It [a big building

    looked as bleak as a barracks —Robert Silverberg

  36. Looked as homey and inviting as the House of Usher —Sarah Bird
  37. Houses (seen from belfry) looked like small caskets and boxes jumbled together —Boris Pasternak
  38. A modern building made of … big cubes of concrete like something built by a child —Edna O’Brien
  39. Modern buildings tend to look like call girls who came out of it intact except that their faces are a touch blank and the expression in their eyes is as lively as the tip of a filter cigarette —Norman Mailer
  40. Paint peeled from it [an apartment house] in layers, like a bad sunburn —Paige Mitchell
  41. A peculiar, suggestive heaviness, trapping the swooning buildings in a sweet, solid calm, as if preserving them in honey —Angela Carter
  42. The pink stucco apartment house looked like a cake that was inhabited by hookers about to jump out of it any second —Robert Campbell
  43. A pretty country retreat is like a pretty wife: one is always throwing away money decorating it —Washington Irving
  44. Residences … of brick, whitewashed and looking faintly flushed, like a pretty girl, with the pink of the brick glowing through where the whitewash had worn off —Harvey Swados
  45. Slate roofs … like the backs of pigeons —Don Robertson
  46. Tents sprang up like strange plants. Camp fires, like red, peculiar blossoms, dotted the night —Stephen Crane
  47. Victorian house … shaped like a wedding cake —Laurie Colwin
  48. We require from buildings, as from men, two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical day well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it —John Ruskin
References in classic literature ?
Stretching out before them, as though they stood at the end of an elevated street and gazed down on it, was a city--a large city, with streets, houses, open squares, temples, statues, fountains, dry for centuries--a buried and forgotten city-- a city in ruins--a city of the dead, now dry as dust, but still a city, or, rather, the strangely preserved remains of one.
Tom and his friends penetrated some of the houses, but not so much as a bone or a heap of mouldering dust showed where the remains of the people were.
She gave one of her town houses for a Suffrage headquarters, produced one of her own plays at the Princess Theater, was arrested for picketing during a garment-makers' strike, etc.
It makes me think of English places that you read about, for there are hedges and walls and gates that lock, and lots of separate little houses for the gardeners and people.
For two hours no one ventured in the glare of the open, or even to cross the narrow, unshadowed street, whose dull red dust seemed to glow between the lines of straggling houses.
A few clouds, floating high upward, caught some of the earliest light, and threw down its golden gleam on the windows of all the houses in the street, not forgetting the House of the Seven Gables, which--many such sunrises as it had witnessed--looked cheerfully at the present one.
Indeed, so far as its physical aspect is concerned, with its flat, unvaried surface, covered chiefly with wooden houses, few or none of which pretend to architectural beauty -- its irregularity, which is neither picturesque nor quaint, but only tame -- its long and lazy street, lounging wearisomely through the whole extent of be peninsula, with Gallows Hill and New Guinea at one end, and a view of the alms-house at the other -- such being the features of my native town, it would be quite as reasonable to form a sentimental attachment to a disarranged checker-board.
The revenue arising from his school was small, and would have been scarcely sufficient to furnish him with daily bread, for he was a huge feeder, and, though lank, had the dilating powers of an anaconda; but to help out his maintenance, he was, according to country custom in those parts, boarded and lodged at the houses of the farmers whose children he instructed.
We had been, collectively, subject to an intrusion; some unscrupulous traveler, curious in old houses, had made his way in unobserved, enjoyed the prospect from the best point of view, and then stolen out as he came.
Nothing delighted you more than to have me tie my piece bags on your backs for burdens, give you hats and sticks and rolls of paper, and let you travel through the house from the cellar, which was the City of Destruction, up, up, to the housetop, where you had all the lovely things you could collect to make a Celestial City.
The windows of the house in which he lived were high and he wanted to look at the trees when he awoke in the morning.
Each house consisted of two compartments, and each family at Lebrun's possessed a compartment for itself, fitted out with all the essential paraphernalia of the bath and whatever other conveniences the owners might desire.