Denotation vs. Connotation


[wurk-hous] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊs/
noun, plural workhouses
[wurk-hou-ziz] /ˈwɜrkˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA)
a house of correction.
British. (formerly) a poorhouse in which paupers were given work.
Obsolete. a workshop.
Origin of workhouse
before 1100; Middle English werkhous, Old English weorchūs workshop. See work, house Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for workhouse
Historical Examples
  • "But she can't go to the workhouse," said Pollyooly in a deeply shocked tone.

    Happy Pollyooly Edgar Jepson
  • In this agreeable frame of mind I entered the workhouse of Liverpool.

    The Uncommercial Traveller Charles Dickens
  • Mr. Bumble had married Mrs. Corney, and was master of the workhouse.

  • For some reason he never went home, and died in the workhouse.

  • Having pretty sharp eyes of our own, we both of us knew that a workhouse was no fit place for her.

    Hide and Seek Wilkie Collins
  • Small intention had Jesse Cliffe to return to their protection or their workhouse!

    Jesse Cliffe Mary Russell Mitford
  • I ventured to inquire into a practice I knew existed in the workhouse of selling food.

  • This building is certified for 180 children, who are received from the workhouse, etc.

    Hammersmith, Fulham and Putney Geraldine Edith Mitton
  • In the workhouse she will be given other clothes to work in, and will thus avoid the hardship of which Mrs. Higgs complains.

  • The other went on lecturing her, predicting they would end in the workhouse.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
British Dictionary definitions for workhouse


(formerly in England) an institution maintained at public expense where able-bodied paupers did unpaid work in return for food and accommodation
(in the US) a prison for petty offenders serving short sentences at manual labour
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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