workhouse

workhouse

[wurk-hous]
noun, plural workhouses [wurk-hou-ziz] .
1.
a house of correction.
2.
British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
3.
Obsolete. a workshop.

Origin:
before 1100; Middle English werkhous, Old English weorchūs workshop. See work, house

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World English Dictionary
workhouse (ˈwɜːkˌhaʊs)
 
n
1.  (formerly in England) an institution maintained at public expense where able-bodied paupers did unpaid work in return for food and accommodation
2.  (in the US) a prison for petty offenders serving short sentences at manual labour

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

workhouse

institution to provide employment for paupers and sustenance for the infirm, found in England from the 17th through the 19th century and also in such countries as The Netherlands and in colonial America

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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