A house is a home, building or structure the primary function of which is to be occupied for habitation by humans or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to complex structures composed of many systems. English-speaking people generally call any building they routinely occupy “home”.
The social unit that lives in a house is known as a household. Most commonly, a household is a family unit of some kind, though households may be other social groups, organizations or individuals.
The English word house derives directly from the Old English Hus meaning “dwelling, shelter, home, house,” which in turn derives from Proto-Germanic Khusan (reconstructed by etymological analysis) which is of unknown origin. The house itself gave rise to the letter ‘B’ through an early Proto-Semitic hieroglyphic symbol depicting a house. The symbol was called “bayt”, “bet” or “beth” in various related languages, and became beta, the Greek letter, before it was used by the Romans.
Ideally, architects of houses design rooms to meet the needs of the people who will live in the house. Such designing, known as “interior design”, has become a popular subject in universities. Feng shui, originally a Chinese method of moving houses according to such factors as rain and micro-climates, has recently expanded its scope to address the design of interior spaces with a view to promoting harmonious effects on the people living inside the house. Feng shui can also mean the “aura” in or around a dwelling. Compare the real-estate sales concept of “indoor-outdoor flow”.