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[ahmz-hous] /ˈɑmzˌhaʊs/
noun, plural almshouses
[ahmz-hou-ziz] /ˈɑmzˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA).
Chiefly British
a house endowed by private charity for the reception and support of the aged or infirm poor.
(formerly) a poorhouse.
1350-1400; Middle English almes hous. See alms, house Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for almshouse
  • He was later on removed from office as superintendent of the almshouse for swindling the city.
  • Wending her quiet way, she entered the door of the almshouse.
  • By the end of the eighteenth century, they could be committed to an almshouse.
British Dictionary definitions for almshouse


(Brit, history) a privately supported house offering accommodation to the aged or needy
(mainly Brit) another name for poorhouse
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for almshouse

mid-15c., from alms + house (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for almshouse

in the United States, a locally administered public institution for homeless, aged persons without means. Such institutions radically declined in number in the second half of the 20th century, replaced by other means of subsistence and care.

Learn more about almshouse with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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