As far as I know home is the place where you live such as a house or an apartment. So apartment is a type/subcategory of home as mentioned in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and its picture. However, in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (see the word focus box on the bottom of the page) apartment is a type of house.

3 Answers 3


I don't think that you can infer anything from the content of the word focus box about the hierarchical classification of the words house and apartment: it's simply meant to show that the words are related, not that they have exactly the same meaning.

You can refer to the place you live as home regardless of what type of building it is- house, cottage, apartment, flat, condo, log cabin, tent... whatever.

But you would only talk about my house if it does not share an enclosed entrance area with any other houses, and you would only talk about my apartment or my flat if it shares an enclosed entrance area with other apartments.

  • "it's simply meant to show that the words are related" Then what does types of house refer to at the top of the box?
    – Mori
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 7:32
  • A flat need not share an enclosed entrance area. I used to live in a flat in a building that had a shared stairwell leading to balconies with the front doors spaced along the balconies. If you came to visit me, the first door you would go through was my own front door leading into my lounge room. (You could argue that the stairwell was enclosed, but it didn't have doors, and a similar building next door had ground floor flats accessible without going near that building's stairs.)
    – nnnnnn
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 8:09
  • 1
    @Mori It seems you are misusing the Word Focus Boxes in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. This is how these boxes are presented: "The word Focus Boxes show you groups of words that are related to the word you have looked up in the dictionary." (emphasis mine). Indeed the words house and apartment are related and "the box" tells you that an apartment is "a set of rooms where someone lives, which is part of a larger building" (larger building that can be a house).
    – None
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 11:01

According to American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Apartment. n. 1. A room or suite of rooms designed as a residence and generally located in a building occupied by more than one household. 2.An apartment building: a row of high-rise apartments. 3. A room. 4. apartments Chiefly British A suite of rooms within a larger building set aside for a particular purpose or person.

The second meaning is an apartment building or a house.

I think you misunderstood the article in the first dictionary. Home doesn't depend on the type of the house, it's just the place, where you live and which you love.


Home is simply where you live or a word that means "starting point." It does not automatically imply a house or building of any kind. You might be homeless and sleeping in a cardboard box on the street, that box is your home.

An apartment or house is not your home unless you live there. If no one owns the house and no one is living there, it isn't anyone's home. Marketers use this term for emotional effect.

A house is a standalone building designed for a single family. An apartment is a typically large, long building where tenants will share a wall with someone else.

However smaller apartment buildings are possible.

Sometimes a large house can be converted into two or more apartments, the term house or apartment might be used to describe these. It would not be called a house unless on the outside it looks like a house.

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