AskDefine | Define doghouse

Dictionary Definition



1 outbuilding that serves as a shelter for a dog [syn: kennel, dog house]
2 an idiomatic term for being in disfavor; "in the doghouse"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any small house or structure or enclosure used to house a dog.
    • 1902, Thomas Dixon, The Leopard's Spots: A Romance of the White Man's Burden--1865-1900, page 61
      "But, honey, whar yo' ole man gwine ter sleep?" "Dey's straw in de barn, en pine shatters in de doghouse!" she shouted, slamming the window.
  2. A structure of small size, similar to that of a dog-house, but offering useful shelter for a human.
    • 1840, James Holman, ''Travels in Madeira, Sierra Leone, Teneriffe, St. Jago, Cape Coast, Fernando ..., page 411
      This berth of mine was commonly called a doghouse (a box about six feet long, four high, and two broad,) containing a mattress fitted about 18 inches from the deck.
    • p. 1927, United States Code Annotated
      [...] so as to render railroad liable for death of brakeman falling from tender, notwithstanding construction of doghouse on top of tender for brakeman's use.
    • 1958, in Rudder, Page 33
      The yacht is well equipped and has accommodations for six people. A teak doghouse over the forward part of the cockpit affords [....]
    • 1966, John Gunn, Barrier Reef By Trimaran, page 30
      We lurched back into the shelter of the doghouse to consider things.
    • 2003, William W. Putney, Always Faithful: A Memoir of the Marine Dogs of WWII, page 106
      I abandoned my torture chamber for the captain's doghouse, a cot covered by a small canvas tent just outside the bridge.
    • 2005, Michael Green, M1 Abrams at War, page 75
      Two small armored doors at the front of the doghouse protect the sight mirrors from harm.
    • 2005, Alan Cockrell, Drilling Ahead: The Quest for Oil in the Deep South, 1945-2005, page 276
      A rotary rig could have drilled that much in a day. Oscar had been here a month. He kept a careful log on the doghouse wall [....]
  3. Mechanically, an equipment cover with an opening, with a shape resembling a doghouse.

Derived terms


dog's house
small shelter for humans
  • Finnish: koppi
  • Finnish: koppa

Extensive Definition

A doghouse, known in British English as a kennel, is a small shed commonly built in the shape of a little house intended for a dog. It is a structure in which a dog is kept or can run into for shelter from the elements.
A doghouse should not be too big or too small for the intended dog because of the potential for excessive heat loss or excessive constriction.

Other terminology

In architecture, "doghouse" is commonly a builder/contractor term for a dormer. The name is derived from the appearance of improperly proportioned dormers, which do resemble dog houses. A properly proportioned dormer should neatly fit over the window it is meant to frame. A common mistake is to undersize the windows or oversize the dormer, which necessitates the use of siding or other infill material with the structure treated as a gable end. Some architects use the word "doghouse" in a derogatory manner to indicate an ignorance of "honest" building practices often found in low-cost residential and light commercial, developer-built structures. See also pork chop eave.
The phrase 'In the doghouse/Land yourself in the doghouse' means out of favour and in trouble with a person/people because of an offence/caused upset, for example for a husband who is figuratively sent to the doghouse in the same way that a dog is removed from the human habitation. This is the principal usage of the expression dog house in British English. The double bass is also sometimes jokingly referred to as a doghouse due to its largeness of sound, especially by jazz or bluegrass musicians.

Dog house resources


doghouse in Czech: Psí bouda
doghouse in French: Niche (abri)
doghouse in Inuktitut: ᓯᑎᒐᖅ/sitigaq
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