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hous·ing 1

a. Buildings or other shelters in which people live: a shortage of housing in the city.
b. A place to live; a dwelling: She came to college early to look for housing.
2. Provision of lodging or shelter: the housing of refugees; a contract that includes housing.
3. Something that covers, protects, or supports, especially:
a. A frame, bracket, or box for holding or protecting a mechanical part: a wheel housing.
b. An enclosing frame in which a shaft revolves.
4. A hole, groove, or slot in a piece of wood into which another piece is inserted.
5. A niche for a statue.
6. Nautical
a. The part of a mast that is below deck.
b. The part of a bowsprit that is inside the hull.

hous·ing 2

1. An ornamental or protective covering for a saddle.
2. often housings Trappings for a horse.

[From Middle English house, from Old French houce, from Medieval Latin hucia, hulcia, hultia, protective covering, of Germanic origin; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]
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.
References in classic literature ?
But Ahab, my Captain, still moves before me in all his Nantucket grimness and shagginess; and in this episode touching Emperors and Kings, I must not conceal that I have only to do with a poor old whale-hunter like him; and, therefore, all outward majestical trappings and housings are denied me.
The commissary having been buried with all the decorations suitable to the service (the whole team of proprieties were harnessed to his hearse, and they all had feathers and black velvet housings with his coat of arms in the corner), Mrs General began to inquire what quantity of dust and ashes was deposited at the bankers'.
It was drawn by four plodding oxen all covered with black housings; on each horn they had fixed a large lighted wax taper, and on the top of the cart was constructed a raised seat, on which sat a venerable old man with a beard whiter than the very snow, and so long that it fell below his waist; he was dressed in a long robe of black buckram; for as the cart was thickly set with a multitude of candles it was easy to make out everything that was on it.