The house is a structure that provides shelter and protection from the elements for a family or other social group. In addition, it provides a place to store personal belongings, to cook meals, to sleep comfortably and to engage in various hobbies and recreation activities. A house is also a source of pride, wealth and status among society. Archaeologists have discovered dwellings that are referred to as houses in every era of human history.

Houses can be made of wood, stone, brick or other materials that are common to a region or culture. Houses can be small, one room structures, or large and complex, containing numerous rooms and even apartments. Often, the house is located on a piece of land that also contains a garden or yard, which is used for leisure activities. A house may contain outbuildings such as a garage, shed or workshop to store tools and equipment.

A house can also convey an emotional response, depending on how it is designed and the memories it holds: a beautiful home may inspire feelings of warmth and welcome, while an imposing mansion may exude a sense of foreboding. In addition, the environment surrounding a house can also play a significant role in its perception: a house may seem warm and inviting with sunshine bathing its facade, while it may appear cold and foreboding in a thunderstorm.

People often use the phrase “home is where the heart is,” to convey a sentimental connection to a place. In addition, many people use the phrase “to have a home is to have a refuge,” to express the importance of having a secure and peaceful place where one can relax and unwind.

The word house can be a noun or a verb. As a noun, it refers to a building where people live or work. In the context of people, it generally refers to a single-family dwelling; however, in some cases, it is also used for multi-family buildings such as apartment buildings and townhouses.

It is also possible for a house to refer to a social group, such as the House of Tudor or the House of Representatives. In some cases, the term is used to refer to a governing body or a theatrical audience.

The word house is a part of several idioms, including “like a house on fire” and “tickets went like hot cakes.” As a noun, it can be abbreviated as hm or hou, and as a verb, it can be abbreviated as to house or to house (noun) someone or something (verb). In some instances, the term is used as an adjective, such as in the phrase “to have a home is…to have a refuge.” In other instances, the word is simply capitalized. For example, it is commonly abbreviated as a slang expression, “house of fun.” “House” is also an alternative spelling for the name of a pub or bar. “House” is a popular song by the American band The Rolling Stones.