A prison in which limited sentences are served at manual labor.(noun)
Chiefly British A poorhouse.(noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "workhouse" in a sentence
"Now it may come to this, as Mr. Belloc maintains, but it is not the theory on which what we call the workhouse does in fact rest."
"At Dover the number of vagrants in the workhouse is treble the number there last year at this time, and in other towns the lateness of the season is responsible for a large increase in the number of casuals."
"The alternative to the workhouse is to go home to Ireland and burden his friends for the rest of his life."