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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

work +‎ house

NounEdit

workhouse (plural workhouses)

  1. (Britain, historical) An institution for the poor homeless, funded by the local parish where the able-bodied were required to workWp
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. []"
  2. (US) A prison in which the sentence includes manual labour.
  3. (archaic) A factory; a place of manufacture.
    • 1895, Will H. Glascock, Stories of Columbia (page 190)
      He carefully guarded his secret, but it got out, and, when he had his invention almost completed, some men broke open his workhouse and carried it away. It was afterward returned, but his plan had been copied, and from the copy many machines were made.

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