n., adj. /hows/; v. /howz/, n., pl. houses /how"ziz/, v., housed, housing, adj.
1. a building in which people live; residence for human beings.
2. a household.
3. (often cap.) a family, including ancestors and descendants: the great houses of France; the House of Hapsburg.
4. a building for any purpose: a house of worship.
5. a theater, concert hall, or auditorium: a vaudeville house.
6. the audience of a theater or the like.
7. a place of shelter for an animal, bird, etc.
8. the building in which a legislative or official deliberative body meets.
9. (cap.) the body itself, esp. of a bicameral legislature: the House of Representatives.
10. a quorum of such a body.
11. (often cap.) a commercial establishment; business firm: the House of Rothschild; a publishing house.
12. a gambling casino.
13. the management of a commercial establishment or of a gambling casino: rules of the house.
14. an advisory or deliberative group, esp. in church or college affairs.
15. a college in an English-type university.
16. a residential hall in a college or school; dormitory.
17. the members or residents of any such residential hall.
18. Informal. a brothel; whorehouse.
19. Brit. a variety of lotto or bingo played with paper and pencil, esp. by soldiers as a gambling game.
20. Also called parish. Curling. the area enclosed by a circle 12 or 14 ft. (3.7 or 4.2 m) in diameter at each end of the rink, having the tee in the center.
21. Naut. any enclosed shelter above the weather deck of a vessel: bridge house; deck house.
22. Astrol. one of the 12 divisions of the celestial sphere, numbered counterclockwise from the point of the eastern horizon.
23. bring down the house, to call forth vigorous applause from an audience; be highly successful: The children's performances brought down the house.
24. clean house. See clean (def. 46).
25. dress the house, Theat.
a. to fill a theater with many people admitted on free passes; paper the house.
b. to arrange or space the seating of patrons in such a way as to make an audience appear larger or a theater or nightclub more crowded than it actually is.
26. keep house, to maintain a home; manage a household.
27. like a house on fire or afire, very quickly; with energy or enthusiasm: The new product took off like a house on fire.
28. on the house, as a gift from the management; free: Tonight the drinks are on the house.
29. put or set one's house in order,
a. to settle one's affairs.
b. to improve one's behavior or correct one's faults: It is easy to criticize others, but it would be better to put one's own house in order first.
30. to put or receive into a house, dwelling, or living quarters: More than 200 students were housed in the dormitory.
31. to give shelter to; harbor; lodge: to house flood victims in schools.
32. to provide with a place to work, study, or the like: This building houses our executive staff.
33. to provide storage space for; be a receptacle for or repository of: The library houses 600,000 books.
34. to remove from exposure; put in a safe place.
35. Naut.
a. to stow securely.
b. to lower (an upper mast) and make secure, as alongside the lower mast.
c. to heave (an anchor) home.
36. Carpentry.
a. to fit the end or edge of (a board or the like) into a notch, hole, or groove.
b. to form (a joint) between two pieces of wood by fitting the end or edge of one into a dado of the other.
37. to take shelter; dwell.
38. of, pertaining to, or noting a house.
39. for or suitable for a house: house paint.
40. of or being a product made by or for a specific retailer and often sold under the store's own label: You'll save money on the radio if you buy the house brand.
41. served by a restaurant as its customary brand: the house wine.
[bef. 900; (n.) ME h(o)us, OE hus; c. D huis, LG huus, ON hus, G Haus, Goth -hus (in gudhus temple); (v.) ME housen, OE husian, deriv. of the n.]
Syn. 1. domicile. HOUSE, DWELLING, RESIDENCE, HOME are terms applied to a place to live in. DWELLING is now chiefly poetic, or used in legal or technical contexts, as in a lease or in the phrase multiple dwelling. RESIDENCE is characteristic of formal usage and often implies size and elegance of structure and surroundings: the private residence of the king. These two terms and HOUSE have always had reference to the structure to be lived in. HOME has recently taken on this meaning and become practically equivalent to HOUSE, the new meaning tending to crowd out the older connotations of family ties and domestic comfort. See also hotel.

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(as used in expressions)
House of Building
Babenberg House of
Bourbon House of
Burgesses House of
Commons House of
house cat
Guise house of
Hanover house of
House Un American Activities Committee
House Edward Mandell
Lancaster house of
Lords House of
Orange house of
Orléans house of
Plantagenet House of
House of Anjou
Savoy house of
Stuart house of
Tudor house of
Windsor house of
House of Saxe Coburg Gotha
Wittelsbach house of
York house of
House of the Hospitallers of Saint Mary of the Teutons

* * *

      in astrology, 1 of the 12 sectors, or divisions, of the celestial sphere. See horoscope.


      style of high-tempo, electronic dance music that originated in Chicago in the early 1980s and spread internationally. Born in Chicago clubs that catered to gay, predominantly black and Latino patrons, house fused the symphonic sweep and soul (soul music) diva vocals of 1970s disco with the cold futurism of synthesizer-driven Eurodisco. Invented by deejay-producers such as Frankie Knuckles and Marshall Jefferson, house reached Europe by 1986, with tracks on Chicago labels Trax and DJ International penetrating the British pop charts. In 1988 the subgenre called acid house catalyzed a British youth culture explosion, when dancers discovered that the music's psychedelic bass lines acted synergistically with the illegal drug ecstasy (MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a hallucinogen and stimulant).

      By 1990 the British scene had divided. Following the bacchanalian spirit of acid house, some preferred manic music designed for large one-time-only raves (all-night parties in warehouses or fields). Others favoured the more “mature,” club-oriented style of soulful house called garage (named after New York City's Paradise Garage club). Following early homegrown efforts by the likes of A Guy Called Gerald, Britain also started producing its own mutations of the Chicago sound. Pioneered by Leftfield, another subgenre called progressive house excised the style's gay-disco roots and explored production techniques that gave the music a hypnotic quality. Bombastic introductions and anthemlike choruses characterized the subgenres labeled handbag and epic house. NU-NRG (a gay, hard-core style) and tech-house (which took an abstract minimalist approach) were other significant subgenres that emerged.

      Despite these European versions, house cognoscenti still looked to America's lead—the lush arrangements of auteur-producers such as Masters at Work, Armand Van Helden, and Deep Dish, the stripped-down severity and disco cut-ups of newer Chicago labels such as Relief and Cajual. On both sides of the Atlantic, the continuing proliferation of subgenres testified to house music's adaptability, appeal, and seemingly inexhaustible creativity.

Simon C.W. Reynolds

Representative Works

● Phuture, “Acid Trax” (1987)
● A Guy Called Gerald, “Voodoo Ray” (1988)
● Royal House, “Can You Party” (1988)
● Green Velvet, “Flash” (1995)
● De'Lacy, “Hideaway (Deep Dish Remix)” (1996)

Additional Reading
Matthew Collin, Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (1997), is an authoritative history of British house and rave culture that focuses on the drug MDMA: its influence on the music, its illegality and dangers, and its diffusion from a late 1980s criminal subculture into the mainstream of 1990s British life. Simon Reynolds, “The End of Music,” in his Blissed Out: The Raptures of Rock (1990), pp. 167–186, celebrates house music for its psychedelic, avant-garde qualities and as posthumanist black pop music that breaks with the concept of soul, and his Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture (1998), a critical history of house and techno from 1980 to the late 1990s, deals with recreational drug culture and the sociological ramifications of the rave scene, with more emphasis on the music itself than Altered State. Steve Redhead (ed.), Rave Off: Politics and Deviance in Contemporary Youth Culture (1993), includes two standout essays: Antonio Melechi, “The Ecstasy of Disappearance,” pp. 29–40, which uses the historical origins of Britain's acid house scene in the nightclubs of the Mediterranean vacation island Ibiza as the basis for a theory of rave culture as a form of “internal tourism;” and Hillegonda Rietveld, “Living the Dream,” pp. 41–78. Sarah Thornton, Club Cultures: Music, Media, and Subcultural Capital (1995), a sociological study of British club and rave culture using the Pierre Bourdieu-inspired notions of “subcultural capital,” explores the struggles of underground scenes to avoid being co-opted by the mainstream; while the analysis of the media panic over British acid house is provocative, the music itself is neglected. Chris Kempster (compiler and ed.), History of House (1996), a collection of articles from the musician's magazine The Mix, concentrates on the working methods of leading producers and house music's technical underpinnings.

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Universalium. 2010.

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