I looked at the entry "house committee" in Cambridge dictionary, and it states about it:

in the US, a group of people chosen by the House of Representatives to consider a particular subject.

In my humble opinion, it means that in the UK they call it differently, but they don't note there what is the alternative for the British English. Then I'm asking here what is it?

  • This is not about British English. It's about systems of government. – Lambie Mar 4 at 21:04

In the British Parlimentary system the equivalent is known as a Select Committee.


Select Committees work in both Houses. They check and report on areas ranging from the work of government departments to economic affairs. The results of these inquiries are public and many require a response from the government.

Differences between the two Houses

House of Commons Select Committees are largely concerned with examining the work of government departments. Committees in the House of Lords concentrate on six main areas: Europe, science, economics, communications, the UK constitution and international relations.

  • +1 for clarity. – Lambie Mar 4 at 21:05

There is no House of Representatives in the UK.

If British media were discussing events in the US House of Representatives, they would refer to a "House committee".

So actually there is no difference between BrE and AmE in that respect. It's like the fact that we don't have a President of Britain, but we still use the term "President" when referring to the US head of state (or certain other heads of state), or the fact that we don't have a House of Representatives, but we refer to "the House of Representatives" when discussing US politics, and Americans refer to "the House of Commons" when discussing British politics.

When a dictionary says "in the US", this isn't necessarily the same thing as saying "in American English".

Indeed, in British English, "subway" isn't usually used as a generic term for underground railways, but we'll still say "the Subway" if referring to the one in New York, and Americans will say "the Underground" or "the Tube" when discussing London.

Sarriesfan is right: the British House of Commons has "select committees". But no doubt their functioning and the details of their configuration differ from those of "House committees" in the US. The two are not necessarily direct equivalents.

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