Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: long-house and long house


Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia has an article on:
Model of a Viking longhouse from Bronze Age

Alternative forms[edit]


From long +‎ house. Use for outhouses possibly via Whittington's Longhouse, a public toilet in medieval London, but first attested in translation of a similar French expression.


longhouse (plural longhouses)

  1. A long communal housing of the Iroquois and some other American Indians, the Malays, the Indonesians the Vikings and many other peoples.
    • 1751, C. Gist, Journals, p. 51:
      They marched in under French Colours and were conducted into the Long House.
    • 1753, George Washington, Diary, Vol. I, p. 50:
      We met in Council at the Long House.
    • 1826, James Fenimore Cooper, Last of Mohicans, Vol. I, Preface, p. vi:
      ... where the ‘long house’, or Great Council Fire, of the nation was universally admitted to be established.
    • 1894 May 1, Sarawak Gazette, p. 67:
      The practice of herding together in ‘long houses’ prevents mental and moral improvement and hinders advance in gardening and planting and agricultural developement generally.
    • 1912, Hose & al., Pagan Tribes of Borneo, Vol. I, Ch. iv:
      The Kenyah village frequently consists of a single long house.
    • 1966, G.E. Evans, Pattern under Plough, Ch. v, p. 72:
      The Welsh long-houses... with long sides and opposite doors providing a passage from side to side, and dividing the building roughly in two.
    • 1971 July 15, Lady, p. 88:
      The longhouse is an object lesson in community living.
  2. (obsolete, euphemistic) An outhouse: an outbuilding used for urination and defecation.
    • 1622, J. Mabbe translating M. Alemán's Rogue, Ch. ii, p. 355:
      To make wads and wisps for those that go to the Long-house (you know what I meane).






  • Oxford English Dictionary. "long, adj.1 and n."