houseboat (n.) Look up houseboat at
also house-boat, "boat fitted out as a house," 1790, from house (n.) + boat (n.).
housebreak (v.) Look up housebreak at
1820, "to break into a house criminally;" perhaps a back-formation from housebreaking or housebreaker. Sense of "to train a domestic animal to be clean in the house" is from 1881. Related: Housebroken.
housebreaking (n.) Look up housebreaking at
"breaking into a house with felonious intent," early 14c., from house (n.) + break (v.). Formerly used of crimes by day, burglary being for crimes by night. Modifying or replacing earlier husbreche, Old English hus-bryce. Housebreaker is from mid-15c.
housecraft (n.) Look up housecraft at
"domestic science," 1906, from house (n.) + craft (n.).
housefly (n.) Look up housefly at
also house-fly, "Musca domestica," early 15c., from house (n.) + fly (n.).
houseful (n.) Look up houseful at
c. 1300, from house (n.) + -ful.
household (n.) Look up household at
late 14c., "members of a family collectively (including servants)," also "furniture and articles belonging to a house;" see house (n.) + hold (n.1). As an adjective, "of or pertaining to house and family, domestic," from late 14c. Compare householder. Household word, one that is in very familiar use, is from 1590s; variant household name is from 1862.
householder (n.) Look up householder at
late 14c., "head of a household or family; one who manages a household;" by mid-15c. as "one who holds or occupies a house as his dwelling," from household. There are similar formations in other Germanic languages (German Haushälter) also often with corresponding verbal forms (German haushalten) but not in English.
housekeeper (n.) Look up housekeeper at
mid-15c., "householder," from house (n.) + keeper. A later equivalent of householder. The sense of "female head domestic servant of a house" is from c. 1600. Housekeep (v.) is from 1842 and appears to be a back-formation.
housekeeping (n.) Look up housekeeping at
1540s, "management of domestic concerns," perhaps a back-formation from housekeeper.
housemaid (n.) Look up housemaid at
also house-maid, 1690s, from house (n.) + maid (n.).
housemate (n.) Look up housemate at
also house-mate, 1809, from house (n.) + mate (n.).
housetop (n.) Look up housetop at
1520s, from house (n.) + top (n.1).
housewarming (n.) Look up housewarming at
also house-warming, "celebration of the entry of a family into a new home," 1570s, from house (n.) + verbal noun from warm (v.).
housewife (n.) Look up housewife at
early 13c., husewif, "woman, usually married, in charge of a family or household; wife of a householder," from huse "house" (see house (n.)) + wif "woman" (see wife (n.)). Compare husband (n.). Originally pronounced "huzzif;" the full written form of it began to be used from c. 1500, representing a pronunciation shift that was made at least in part to distinguish it from its offspring, hussy. In 16c., "housewife and hussy were still realized to be same word," and it was felt "that a distinction between the two was due to the reputable matron" [Fowler]. From mid-18c.: "It is common to use housewife in a good, and huswife or hussy in a bad sense" [Johnson]. Related: Housewifely.
housework (n.) Look up housework at
1841, from house (n.) + work (n.).
housing (n.1) Look up housing at
"buildings, lodgings," early 14c., husing, from house (n.).
housing (n.2) Look up housing at
"ornamental covering," c. 1300, houce "covering for the back and flanks of a horse," from Old French houce "mantle, horse-blanket" (Modern French housse), from Medieval Latin hultia "protective covering," from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hulfti (cognates: Middle Dutch hulfte "pocket for bow and arrow," Middle High German hulft "covering"), from PIE root *kel- (2) "to cover, conceal" (see cell). Sense of "case or enclosure for machine or part" is first recorded 1882, verbal noun from house (v.).
Houston Look up Houston at
city in Texas, U.S., founded 1836 and named for first president of Texas, Sam Houston. The family name is from the barony of Houston in Lanark.
Houyhnhnm Look up Houyhnhnm at
1727, in "Gulliver's Travels," coined by Swift to suggest whinnying.
hove (v.1) Look up hove at
"wait, linger, hover," mid-13c., of unknown origin. Chiefly nautical at first, of ships standing off a coast, also of birds in the air. Common 13c.-16c., then superseded by its derivative, hover.
hove (v.2) Look up hove at
"to rise up, to swell," 1590s, evidently from heave (v.), perhaps from its past tense form hove.
hovel (n.) Look up hovel at
mid-14c., "roofed passage, vent for smoke," later "shed for animals" (mid-15c.), of unknown origin. The proposal that it is a diminutive of hof is "etymologically and chronologically inadmissible" [OED]. Meaning "shed for human habitation; rude or miserable cabin" is from 1620s. It also sometimes meant "canopied niche for a statue or image" (mid-15c.).
hover (v.) Look up hover at
c. 1400, hoveren, frequentative of hoven "hover, tarry, linger;" see hove (v.1). Related: Hovered; hovering. As a noun from 1510s.
hovercraft (n.) Look up hovercraft at
1959, from hover (v.) + craft (n.).
how (adv.) Look up how at
Old English hu "how," from Proto-Germanic *hwo (cognates: Old Saxon hwo, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch hu, Dutch hoe, German wie, Gothic hvaiwa "how"), an adverbial form from the PIE interrogative pronominal root *kwo- (see who). Practically a doublet of why, differentiated in form and use.

How come? for "why?" is recorded from 1848 [Bartlett]. Emphatic phrase and how! is recorded from 1865. The formulation was common in book and article titles ("The National Debt, and How to Pay It"), but Pennsylvania writer Bayard Taylor, in whom it is first recorded, seems to have regarded it as a German or German-American expression.
how (interj.) Look up how at
Native American greeting, Siouxan (Dakota hao, Omaha hau), first recorded 1817 in English. But according to OED, the same word was noted early 17c. by French missionary Jean de Brebeuf among Hurons as an expression of approval (1636).
Howard Look up Howard at
proper name, from Old French Huard, from a Germanic source similar to Old High German *Hugihard "heart-brave," or *Hoh-weard, literally "high defender; chief guardian." Also probably in some cases a confusion with cognate Old Norse Haward, and as a surname also with unrelated Hayward. In some rare cases from Old English eowu hierde "ewe herd."
howbeit (adv., conj.) Look up howbeit at
"be it as it may, notwithstanding, nevertheless, yet; notwithstanding that," late 15c., contraction of hough be hit (early 15c.), literally "how be it." Compare albeit.
howdah (n.) Look up howdah at
"seat on the back of an elephant for two or more to ride," 1774, from Persian and Urdu haudah, from Arabic haudaj "litter carried by a camel" (or elephant).
howdy Look up howdy at
1837, earlier how de (1828), first recorded in Southern U.S. dialect, contraction of how do you do (1630s), phrase inquiring after someone's health; earlier how do ye (1560s).
howe (n.) Look up howe at
also how, "artificial burial mound," 1660s, from a local word in northern England for a hill or hillock, from a Middle English use of Old Norse haugr "mound; cairn," perhaps from the root of high (adj.).
however (adv., conj.) Look up however at
late 14c., from how + ever.
howitzer (n.) Look up howitzer at
1690s, hauwitzer, 1680s howitts, via Dutch houwitser (1660s), an extended borrowing of German Haubitze, from Bohemian houfnice "a catapult," from houf "heap, crowd," a loan-word from Middle High German hufe "heap." Introduced to German during the Hussite wars, 14c.
howl (v.) Look up howl at
early 13c., houlen, probably ultimately of imitative origin; similar formations are found in other Germanic languages. Also compare owl. Related: Howled; howling. As a noun from 1590s.
howler (n.) Look up howler at
1800, "animal that howls," originally in reference to the South American monkey, agent noun from howl (v.). Meaning "glaring blunder, ridiculous mistake" is first recorded 1890. In early telephony (1886 - c. 1920) the name of a device used by the exchange to produce a loud howl in the receiver to attract a subscriber who has not hung up his end of the connection. Blockquote> Telephone companies are oftentimes annoyed by subscribers leaving the receivers off the hook--time is lost and the service is more or less impaired. The Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company has recently issued a four-page folder descriptive of their "howler" equipment which is effectively used in remedying this evil. ["Journal of Electricity, Power & Gas," vol. XXIX, No.6, Aug. 10, 1912]
howling (adj.) Look up howling at
c. 1600, "that howls," present-participle adjective from howl (v.)). The word was used in the King James Bible (1611) in reference to waste and wilderness (Deut. xxxii:10), "characterized by or filled with howls (of wild beasts or the wind," which has tended to give it a merely intensive force.
howsoever (adv.) Look up howsoever at
late 14c., how so evere "no matter how, however," an emphatic form of how-so "in what(ever) way" (late Old English hu se), from how (adv.) + so (adv.); + ever.

A parallel and earlier form in Middle English was howsomever (early 14c.), which survived through 18c. in provincial English and after that was counted a vulgar Americanism by English writers; it is the same compound but with the obsolete conjunction sum, from Old Norse sem "as, that" (cognate with Danish and Swedish som) in place of so.
hoya (n.) Look up hoya at
"honey-plant," climbing, flowering plant of southeast Asia, 1816, named in Modern Latin in honor of English gardener and botanist Thomas Hoy (c. 1750-1822).
hoyden (n.) Look up hoyden at
"ill-bred, boisterous young female," 1670s; earlier "rude, boorish fellow" (1590s), of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch heiden "rustic, uncivilized man," from Middle Dutch heiden "heathen," from Proto-Germanic *haithinaz- (see heathen). OED points to Elizabethan hoit "indulge in riotous and noisy mirth" in Nares.
Hoyle Look up Hoyle at
cited as a typical authority on card or board games, by 1755, a reference to Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769), author of several works on card-playing. The surname, according to Bardsley, represents a Northern English dialectal pronunciation of hole. "In Yorks and Lancashire hole is still dialectically hoyle. Any one who lived in a round hollow or pit would be Thomas or Ralph in the Hoyle." ["Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames," London, 1901]
HTML Look up HTML at
1992, standing for Hypertext Markup Language.
http Look up http at
abbreviation of hypertext transfer protocol, by 1990.
HUAC (n.) Look up HUAC at
1950, American English, approximate acronym for House Committee to Investigate un-American Activities (1938-1975).
hub (n.) Look up hub at
"solid center of a wheel," 1640s, of uncertain origin, perhaps, if all the senses are in fact the same word, from hubbe, originally probably "lump, round protuberance, boss," the source of the hob of a fireplace and the hobnail of a boot. A wheelwright's word, not generally known or used until c. 1828; it reached wider currency with the vogue for bicycling. Meaning "center of interest or activity or importance" first recorded 1858 in writings of Oliver W. Holmes, and originally especially of Boston.
"Boston State-House is the hub of the solar system." [Holmes, "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"]

"[E]verybody knows that Boston used to be called the Hub, meaning the hub of the universe. It may still be the hub, because the center of a wheel moves slowly." [J.P. Marquand, "Life," March 24, 1941]
hub-bub (n.) Look up hub-bub at
see hubbub.
hubba-hubba (interj.) Look up hubba-hubba at
U.S. slang cry of excitement or enthusiasm, first recorded 1944.
Hubble (n.) Look up Hubble at
space telescope placed in orbit 1990, named for U.S. astronomer Edwin P. Hubble (1889-1953). Hubble's Law is from 1933.
hubbub (n.) Look up hubbub at
1550s, whobub "confused noise," of uncertain origin; according to OED generally believed to be of Irish origin, perhaps from Gaelic ub!, expression of aversion or contempt, or Old Irish battle cry abu, from buide "victory."
hubby (n.) Look up hubby at
colloquial shortening of husband (n.) attested from 1680s, with -y (3).