at home

Idioms & Phrases

at home

  1. In one's own residence, town, or country. For example, Mary was not at home when I called, or Tourists in a foreign country often behave more rudely than they do at home. This idiom was first recorded in a ninth-century treatise.

  2. Ready to receive a visitor, as in We are always at home to our neighbor's children. This usage gave rise to the noun , meaning a reception to which guests are invited on a specific day at specific hours (also see open house). [c. 1600]

  3. Also, . Comfortable and familiar, as in Mary always makes us feel at home, or I've never been at home with his style of management. [Early 1500s] Also see at ease, def. 1.

  4. Also, at home with. Proficient, well-versed in, as in Young John is so much at home with numbers that he may well become a mathematician, or Chris is really at home in French. [Late 1700s]

  5. In team sports, playing on one's own field or in one's own town. For example, The Red Sox always do better at home than they do at away games.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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