Definition of home in English:

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Pronunciation: /həʊm/


1The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household: the floods forced many people to flee their homes I was nineteen when I left home and went to college
More example sentences
  • The eye of Hurricane Charley passed directly over the Family Life Center, my home, and the homes of our staff members.
  • In the Bantul district to the south, villagers told of trying to rescue family members before homes collapsed.
  • This initiative is designed to help military families repair and maintain their homes while family members are on active duty.
place of residence, accommodation, property, a roof over one's head;
address, location, place
informal pad
British informal digs
1.1The family or social unit occupying a permanent residence: he came from a good home
More example sentences
  • White, who came from a good home, managed to spend a fair amount of his life at a host of federal and state penitentiaries.
  • Kimberley left the matrimonial home on August 1, 2000.
  • The idea is that each visiting student is welcomed into the home as a member of the family.
1.2A house or flat considered as a commercial property: low-cost homes for first-time buyers [as modifier]: the growth in home ownership
More example sentences
  • Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday the Government was responsible for fuelling the price of homes to first time buyers.
  • This will fund more than 730 affordable homes for rent or low-cost home ownership.
  • The next planning application will be the latest in a long line of attempts to revive the site by introducing badly needed homes alongside commercial units.
house, flat, apartment, bungalow, cottage, terraced house, semi-detached house, detached house
informal semi
1.3The district or country where one was born or has settled on a long-term basis: they have made Provence their home
More example sentences
  • Maybe six months, or a year tops, but Paris could never be the home to me that Vancouver is.
  • I've finally had all my mail re-directed and London is where I consider my home to be now.
  • The latter he was to encounter in Toledo, the city that became his permanent home in 1577.
native land, homeland, home town, birthplace, roots, fatherland, motherland, mother country, country of origin, land of one's fathers, the old country
1.4A place where something flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates: Montana is home to a surprising number of rare mammals
More example sentences
  • The east Midlands, south-eastern England, and East Anglia were home to the most advanced arable farming in the British Isles.
  • Los Angeles is the home of rock 'n roll.
  • For instance, to complete the Slam, I had to win at St. Andrews, the home of golf.
domain, realm, place of origin, source, cradle, fount, fountainhead
natural habitat, natural environment, natural territory, habitat, home ground, stamping ground, haunt
1.5 informal A place where an object is kept.
Example sentences
  • They will remain on show at the museum before finding a permanent home in the school later this year.
  • Just press the button - I'll find a permanent home for it as soon as the store is open.
  • A rare engine has arrived at the Steam museum where it will make its permanent home.
2An institution for people needing professional care or supervision: an old people’s home
More example sentences
  • Yorkshire Care Developments Ltd is taking the action in protest at what it claims are inadequate fees paid to homes for the care of elderly and vulnerable people.
  • Four years ago, the former Queensland governor delivered a landmark report into the State's institutional homes.
  • The first was a specialized adoption agency; the others were commercial maternity homes.
hospice, shelter, refuge, retreat, asylum, hostel
3The finishing point in a race: he was four fences from home
More example sentences
  • After kicking 300m from home to beat Garcia in 7:40.97 seconds, Gebrselassie admitted the fast pace had been a challenge.
  • Sir Rembrandt made a mistake at the fifth fence from home which proved costly to his challenge but he battled on to claim second spot.
  • The leader gave way to Daliapour over three furlongs out as rider Johnny Murtagh drove for home for all he was worth.
3.1(In games) the place where a player is free from attack.
Example sentences
  • Sides are chosen; each side must have a ‘home’ at the top and bottom of the ground where the children are playing.
3.2(In lacrosse) each of the three players stationed nearest their opponents' goal.
Example sentences
  • First home, Janet Roberts, with her dynamic underarm flick, deserved more than the two she obtained.
3.3 Baseball short for home plate.
Example sentences
  • Angels RF Tim Salmon had drifted off third base, anticipating a break for home.
  • Santa rounded third and headed for home, as the shortstop finally came to his senses and threw a perfect peg to catcher Garcia.
3.4A match played or won by a team on their own ground.
Example sentences
  • Here are 14 sample bets, set out on eight example coupons, for all types of bets including homes, aways, draws, correct scores, and double results.


1Relating to the place where one lives: I don’t have your home address
More example sentences
  • Estate agents told the Saturday Dispatch most home buyers did not look properly through houses they intended to buy.
  • Martin's funeral took place to his home parish at the weekend.
  • The President pledges to work hard to ensure more home ownership.
1.1Made, done, or intended for use in the home: traditional home cooking a home computer
More example sentences
  • They can also access and work on their school files from home computers.
  • During their visit his mother tried to fatten her up on good home cooking.
  • In the next two to five years, you'll see the computer and your home television set merging.
1.2Relating to one’s own country: we need to stimulate demand within the UK home market
More example sentences
  • They fixed their policy in relation to that of the home market and home government.
  • For it is always easier for true natives to experience the excitement of other cultures on their home turf.
  • Citizenship of the Union was to be established and close co-operation on justice and home affairs was to be developed.
2(Of a sports fixture) played at the team’s own ground: their first home match of the season a home win
More example sentences
  • He made a huge impression and was adored by home fans because he was a local boy.
  • Their square has been relaid so local experience of how the pitch plays will be a home advantage.
  • On home ground Clane were the first to open the scoring with a well taken point.
2.1Relating to or denoting a sports team that is playing at its own ground: the home side home fans
More example sentences
  • Rather sportingly the home team took two men off the field to even up the numbers, not that it made much difference.
  • Now you can have a bunch of guys on the visiting team who used to be on the home team.
  • At the outset Silsden were put under pressure by the home side who were playing down the slope.
3North American Denoting the administrative centre of an organization: the company has moved its home office
More example sentences
  • Our CEO can work anywhere in the world and couldn't really tell you where his home office is.


1To or at the place where one lives: what time did he get home last night?
More example sentences
  • The defendant replied that he did not have the money on him and his wife would not be home until later that night.
  • She left home on Saturday night dressed all in black and gave no indication where she was going or when she might return.
  • My mom was home for the first time in weeks.
1.1To the end or conclusion of a race or something difficult: the favourite romped home six lengths clear
More example sentences
  • The application of blinkers worked a treat on this filly at Ayr last time when she romped home by eight lengths in a maiden race.
  • Although the smart winner was far too good that day, Lisdante ran an honourable race to lead home the remainder.
  • La Chunga runs away with the race to lead home a one-two for trainer Jeremy Noseda.
1.2To the intended or correct position: he slid the bolt home noisily
More example sentences
  • A pass by Sue Gilmour found Olympian Rhona Simpson in position to slot home the only goal of the first half.
  • Paul Proctor stepped up to slide home the first of three penalties on the day.
  • Midfielder Jess then turned in a cross to the near post for Ward to slide home his fourth goal of the season beyond Mart Poom.


[no object]
1(Of an animal) return by instinct to its territory after leaving it: a dozen geese homing to their summer nesting grounds
More example sentences
  • As the sun took a bow, chirping birds homed and went quiet.
  • André Desrochers has shown in a relocation study of 200 forest songbirds that birds homed back less often and after greater delays in fragments as opposed to intact forests.
  • So while the mother sharks are homing to the same nursing grounds, roving males ensure that the population remains genetically diverse.
1.1(Of a pigeon bred for long-distance racing) fly back to or arrive at its loft after being released at a distant point: pigeons who do not home will win no prizes
More example sentences
  • Originally from Europe, Northern Africa, and India, the Rock Pigeon was domesticated and raised for food and trained for homing.
  • Making these pigeons anosmic had essentially no effect on either the pigeons' orientation or homing.
  • Clearly, at least some pigeons make use of landmarks in their homing.
2 (home in on) Move or be aimed towards (a target or destination) with great accuracy: more than 100 missiles were launched, homing in on radar emissions
More example sentences
  • The pilots in the first attack used a radio station's mast near Pearl Harbour to home in on.
  • As the game progresses the enemies move faster and will home in on you.
  • The hook is then baited with a fillet of mackerel, to combine both movement and smell for the fish to home in on.
focus on, focus attention on, concentrate on, zero in on, centre on, fix on, aim at, highlight, spotlight, underline, pinpoint
informal zoom in on
2.1Focus attention on: a teaching style which homes in on what is of central importance for each pupil
More example sentences
  • While air-conditioning and alloy wheels are big after-sale sellers for any vehicle, it's the multi-purpose vehicle market which manufacturers are homing in on.
  • The MP for Glasgow South West homes in on what really matters.
  • The domestic simplicity of his last days may seem twee, but key chapters of the killer's disturbed life are homed in on with skill and insight.
3 [with object] Provide (an animal) with a home as a pet: each year thousands of cats which could have been homed are being needlessly put down
More example sentences
  • The main argument against Southport Zoo was the location, so surely the beautiful surroundings of the centre would be a more fitting environment for the animals to be homed.
  • Donations received for animal adoptions were up by £2,600 to £6,380, partly due to more animals being homed, and partly due to the branch requesting a minimum donation now.
  • The reptile, which looks like an alligator, will be kept at the Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility in Great Wakering where more than 400 exotic animals are homed.


The traditional form for the verb sense ‘move accurately towards a target’ is home in on, not hone in on. More than a third of the total citations for this expression in the Oxford English Corpus are for hone in on, however, and in the US this form has become common even in mainstream writing. Nevertheless, hone in on is still regarded by many as incorrect.



at home

Pronunciation: /ət ˈhəʊm/
In one’s own house: I told him I’d be at home most of the day
More example sentences
  • There are a lot of 19-year-olds that are living at home or in frat houses that are a mess.
  • He said the parents of girls who lived in her boarding house had been contacted at home and given the bad news before they returned to school earlier this week.
  • The burglaries happened at around 2 am on Saturday with the residents of both houses at home.
in, in one's house, present, available, indoors, inside, here
1.1Ready to receive and welcome visitors: she took to her room and was not at home to friends
More example sentences
  • I relied on him to say whether he was at home to visitors or not.
  • A stickler for etiquette, Webb was at home to academicians but saw associates only by appointment.
  • ‘Is Carlos in?’ he said. ‘If you mean Carlo, yes, but he's not at home to visitors today’.
entertaining, receiving, playing host to, showing hospitality to
1.2In one’s own neighbourhood, town, or country: he has been consistently successful both at home and abroad
More example sentences
  • That implies up to 20 billion yuan would be available for equity investment at home and abroad.
  • They monitor what's going on over the fence with our South East Asian neighbours and here at home.
  • You cannot defend the Constitution abroad while undermining it at home.
1.3(With reference to a sports fixture) at a team’s own ground: Spurs drew 1-1 at home to Leeds
More example sentences
  • The team lost two games at home last week, both with fourth-quarter fades.
  • The team has designs on making the playoffs, and it performs like a playoff team at home but not on the road.
  • A team sometimes will play at home one night, leave the next morning and cross two time zones to play the following night.
1.4Comfortable and at ease in a place or situation: sit down and make yourself at home
More example sentences
  • I'm going to be late for work, again so just make yourselves at home until I get in.
  • I really made him feel at home in my house and I never expected this from him.
  • Almost two years of campaigning in primaries and for the White House have left him at home in public meetings.
at ease, comfortable, relaxed, content, confident, at peace, in one's element
1.5Confident or relaxed about doing or using something: he was quite at home talking about Eisenstein or Brecht
More example sentences
  • Youngsters at a nursery near Swindon will feel right at home singing Old MacDonald's Farm as they will be housed in a former barn.
  • Of course, I did as I was instructed and tried to make myself at home with this new rhythmic concept.
  • Always an Irish favourite, Justin is equally at home playing pumping house as funky techno and always rocks the party.

bring something home to

Make (someone) realize the full significance of something: her first-hand account brought home to me the pain of the experience
More example sentences
  • Perhaps the bitter experience of the stock market, which fell by over 60% in the past few months, has brought that point home to all concerned.
  • Maybe this tragedy will bring it home to similarly minded people that this is nothing to do with class struggle.
  • Mr Grant, defending, said: ‘Mr Harper is full of remorse and the breakdown of his relationship has brought his alcoholism home to him.’

close (or near) to home

(Of a remark or topic of discussion) relevant or accurate to the point that one feels uncomfortable or embarrassed.
Example sentences
  • This hits close to home, because I went bankrupt some years ago behind medical bills.
  • I want to get both of your assessments on something very, very close to home for both of you.
  • It is the necessary baseline from which Harris makes the leap into her imaginative world, but it can sometimes get a bit too close to home.

come home

Golf Play the second nine holes in a round of eighteen holes: Forsbrand came home in 30 for a 66 Compare with go out (see go1).
More example sentences
  • You have got to get to two or three under on that front nine and I didn't so coming home is a lot more difficult
  • He also went out in two under par but succeeded in dropping just one shot to par coming home.

come home to someone

(Of the significance of something) become fully realized by someone: the full enormity of what was happening came home to Sara
More example sentences
  • People love doing it and it really comes home to you at the end when you go up to the wards.
  • It was only then that the true lack of Scottish involvement in this tour really came home to us.
  • As the train effectively emptied at the Excel Centre it really started coming home to me what I had agreed to do.

drive (or hammer or press or ram) something home

Make something clearly understood by the use of repeated or forcefully direct arguments: we must drive home the message that crime doesn’t pay
More example sentences
  • New Labour relied on its supporters in the trade union leadership to ram that message home.
  • He was confident, he was direct, he drove his points home.
  • Depriving us of the end of the story renders it difficult for him to drive home the central theme of continuity.

hit (or strike) home

(Of a blow or a missile) reach an intended target.
Example sentences
  • However, headguards, whilst absorbing energy from punches, present an even larger target to be hit and thus the number of blows striking home may well increase.
  • The move spelt his doom, for the blow struck home, driving the warrior, shield and all, into the side of the bridge.
  • The person staggered briefly as her blow struck home.
7.1(Of words) have the intended, especially unsettling or painful, effect on their audience: she could see that her remark had hit home
More example sentences
  • Okay, so he was drunk and exaggerating (and was fairly remorseful about it the next day), but his words hit home.
  • She seemed to not understand what he had said, then the words struck home.
  • He spoke slowly, as if trying to make the words hit home.
7.2(Of the significance or true nature of a situation) become fully realized by someone: the full impact of life as a celebrity began to hit home
More example sentences
  • This is the kind of subject matter that will strike home painfully for many men and women in today's work force.
  • Much the same has applied to Scotland since, in the 1990s, the highly-damaging effect of the industrial trouble in schools in the 1980s hit home.
  • The cool night air was clearing his head and the enormity of his problem was beginning to hit home.

home and dry

(North American home free, Australian /NZ home and hosed)
British Having successfully achieved or being within sight of achieving one’s objective: at 3-0 up they should have been home and dry
More example sentences
  • A seven-minute flurry of activity settled this contest, however, Kilmarnock finding themselves home and dry with two clinical finishes before the break.
  • It appeared rather too little too late for the visitors as within less than ten minutes of the restart City looked home and dry.
  • When we get done up there, we'll be home free… free to do what we want to do as a couple.

(a) home from (North American away from) home

British A place where one is as happy, relaxed, or comfortable as in one’s own home.
Example sentences
  • In this isolated part of the world, Bluff makes a comforting home away from home - especially with the Cow Canyon Trading Post and Restaurant in town.
  • Anyway, the caravan became my home away from home.
  • After the city where I was born, the city where my wife was born and the city where we now live, Dublin is home from home.

home is where the heart is

proverb Your home will always be the place for which you feel the deepest affection, no matter where you are.
Example sentences
  • It's not that she's got anything in particular against Hollywood, you understand, but home is where the heart is and Kelly's heart firmly belongs to Dougie and the UK.
  • And if a home is where the heart is, then maybe this one's for me.
  • If home is where the heart is, then it is also the primary source of loyalty.

home on the pig's back

Australian informal Having successfully achieved one’s objective: you’ll be home on the pig’s back with her around
More example sentences
  • It's home on the pig's back here, mate!
  • My employees get paid better wages than anyone else's, live in a better and cheaper town—they're home on the pig's back!
  • It would have been far better if the ones that will come out on top, the ones that will be home on the pig's back, got no grant at all.

home, James (and don't spare the horses) !

dated Used as a humorous way of exhorting the driver of a vehicle to drive home quickly.
Example sentences
  • We got back on the coach and as we pulled away, Elsie said to me, ‘Home James. And don't spare the horses’.
  • It was at that stage that I decided that I was just going to go home - and don't spare the horses.

home sweet home

Used as an expression of one’s pleasure or relief at being in or returning to one’s own home.
Example sentences
  • It had been home for the past couple of months, and it was the first time Tanya could say home sweet home, and mean it.
  • Aaah, I thought with a serene smile of recognition, home sweet home.
  • Just try telling them you don't want to leave home sweet home.

set up home

British Start living somewhere on a permanent basis: the couple set up home in Chelsea eight years ago
More example sentences
  • The couple set up home in London and, in 1972, Ashkenazy took Icelandic citizenship.
  • After her wedding later this year, she will move to Newcastle to set up home, but will still compete for Scotland whenever possible.
  • James and Helen are moving to London to set up home together - good luck, my friend, and stay in touch!

when ——'s at home

British Used to add humorous emphasis to a question about someone’s identity: who’s Peter when he’s at home?
More example sentences
  • The old lady said to tell that to Yuri Gagarin, but the hostess just giggled and said, ‘Who's he when he's at home?’
  • I say his name and friends reply ’Who's he when he's at home?‘



Pronunciation: /ˈhəʊmlʌɪk/
Example sentences
  • To ensure that the hospital would be comfortable and homelike, a terrace and healing garden were added to the design.
  • Small, homelike cottages were considered ideal at many camps.
  • He is also a leader in the natural-birth movement, having introduced homelike birthing rooms and pools into French hospitals.


Old English hām, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch heem and German Heim.

  • Home is an ancient word related to a Sanskrit term meaning ‘safe dwelling’. The Greek poet Hesiod, who lived around 700 bc, expressed the same sentiment as there's no place like home, although its best-known expression is in the sentimental song ‘Home Sweet Home’ by John Howard Payne, first sung in the opera Clari, the Maid of Milan in 1823: ‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, / Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.’ The saying home is where the heart is dates from the late 19th century. A woman's place is in the home dates from the 19th century.

Words that rhyme with home

brome, chrome, comb, Crome, dome, foam, gnome, holm, Holme, hom, Jerome, loam, Nome, ohm, om, roam, Rome, tome

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: home

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