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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


  • 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.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


the abnormal fear of being in a house.
1. an abnormal fear of home surround-ings.
2. an aversion to home life.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.




  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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
4 o'clock, by which time one of the best finished houses in the Province had nothing remaining but the bare walls and floors.
Moreover, the rain (which falls at stated intervals) coming always from the North, is an additional assistance; and in the towns we have the guidance of the houses, which of course have their side-walls running for the most part North and South, so that the roofs may keep off the rain from the North.
Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
The main bulk of the trade goods, which was not distributed, Bashti had carried up to his own large grass house. All the wealth of gear was stored in the several canoe houses.
They had talked about looking at more houses before they made the purchase; but then they did not know where any more were, and they did not know any way of finding out.
It was one of those rusty, moss-grown, many-peaked wooden houses, which are scattered about the streets of our elder towns, with a beetle-browed second story projecting over the foundation, as if it frowned at the novelty around it.
Presently more boys and bigger came out, and boys from other houses on their way to calling-over, and more balls were sent for.
All the other houses in the street were so new and so neat, with large window panes and smooth walls, one could easily see that they would have nothing to do with the old house: they certainly thought, "How long is that old decayed thing to stand here as a spectacle in the street?
In every quarter he could think of; at Chigwell and in London; at the houses of the tradespeople with whom he dealt, and of the friends he knew; he pursued his search.
With- out thinking where he was going or what he wanted to do, George went out of Main Street and began walking in dimly lighted streets filled with frame houses.
No masters of the houses being found anywhere, the French were not billeted on the inhabitants as is usual in towns but lived in it as in a camp.
When I consider my neighbors, the farmers of Concord, who are at least as well off as the other classes, I find that for the most part they have been toiling twenty, thirty, or forty years, that they may become the real owners of their farms, which commonly they have inherited with encumbrances, or else bought with hired money -- and we may regard one third of that toil as the cost of their houses -- but commonly they have not paid for them yet.