‘Manor' or ‘Mansion' or ‘House': What's the difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on June 10, 2023

Do you want to know the difference between a 'manor' or 'mansion' or 'house?' I can help!

Here is the short answer:

  • A 'manor' is the residential living quarters or the main residence on an estate.
  • A 'mansion' is an oversized residence.
  • 'House' is a name for a residence or living quarters that one or more families live in.

Basically, all three terms refer to residences. However, a 'house' is generally considered smaller, and 'manor' and 'mansion' are synonyms. To find out more about these three words, read the usage tips, definitions, pronunciations, and sample sentences in this guide.

What's the Difference Between 'Manor' or 'Mansion' or 'House?'

All three terms refer to residences.

  • However, a 'manor' is a residence on an estate.
  • A 'mansion' is a large home similar to a 'manor' but not necessarily on an estate.
  • Finally, a 'house' is a residence or living quarters. However, 'houses' are generally thought of as being smaller than the other two terms.

When to Use 'Manor' or 'Mansion' or 'House?'

While all three words are residences, there are times when one may be more appropriate than the others. So, here is an overview of when to use each.

  • Use 'manor' to describe the main residence on an estate.

For example, you could say:

When guests arrive at the estate on our special day, they will drive up the winding road until they see the picturesque manor house on the hill.

  • Use 'mansion' to describe a larger-than-average home that is not necessarily on an estate. A

For example, you might hear someone say:

The neighborhood is impressive because you have to drive past the huge mansions on the main road before you get to any of the smaller subdivisions. 

  • Use 'house' to describe the structure someone lives in.

For example, you could say:

Is your house a single-family residence, apartment, townhouse, or condo?

  • Use 'house' as a name for an organization like a fashion or publishing house.

For example, I might ask someone:

Did you hear back from the publishing house about the job?

Definition of 'Manor': What Does 'Manor' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of 'manor' is:

  • The large main residence on an estate

It can also mean:

  • A building where a landowner lives and the management of the property takes place
  • A stately building where staff and the property owner reside
  • A homesite and business location of a piece of property
  • A large self-sufficient community ruled by a lord during medieval times

Synonyms of 'Manor'

  • Mansion
  • Park
  • Estate home
  • House
  • Hall
  • Home
  • Abode
  • Palace
  • Villa
  • Chateau
  • Dwelling
  • Domicile
  • Showplace
  • Great house
  • Hacienda
  • Manor house

Phrases with 'Manor'

  • Manor house
  • Stately manor
  • Manor grant
  • Lord of the Manor
  • Lady of the Manor
  • Mistress of the Manor
  • Manor maids
  • Grand Manor

Definition of 'Mansion': What Does 'Mansion' Mean?

The same resource defines 'mansion' as:

  • An imposing residence

It can also mean:

  • An oversized imposing residential structure
  • A separate stately residence within a larger residential structure or community
  • 1/28th of the moon's cycle

Synonyms of 'Mansion'

  • Hacienda
  • House
  • Home
  • Abode
  • Estate
  • Hall
  • Chateau
  • Hearth
  • Castle
  • Manor
  • Park
  • Posh house
  • Luxury lodging

As you can see, many of the synonyms of 'mansion' are the same as those for 'manor.'

Phrases with 'Mansion'

  • Mega-mansion
  • Governor's mansion
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Celebrity mansion
  • Mini Mansion
  • McMansion
  • Luxury Mansion
  • Millionaire's mansion

Definition of 'House': What Does 'House' Mean?

  • A structure that serves as a residence

It also means:

  • The same defines 'house' as a company or production organization
  • A shelter for wildlife
  • One of twelve astrological houses
  • A seat of a zodiac sign
  • A family or bloodline of descendants or ancestors
  • A residence that serves as the headquarters and living space for a fraternity or sorority

Synonyms of 'House'

  • Dealer
  • Agency
  • Company
  • Establishment
  • Outfit
  • Organization
  • Corporation
  • Business
  • Enterprise
  • Family
  • Clan
  • Tribe
  • Descendant
  • Lineage
  • Relative
  • Folk
  • Kinfolks
  • Habitat
  • Home
  • Residence
  • Dwelling
  • Abode
  • Digs
  • Shelter
  • Hut
  • Hitch
  • Dorm
  • Suite
  • Shack
  • Duplex

Phrases with 'House'

  • Townhouse
  • Main house
  • Guest house
  • Flophouse
  • Manor house
  • Carriage house
  • Houseboat
  • Tenement house
  • House guest

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Manor' or 'Mansion' or 'House'

You know the difference between these three terms, but now you need to know how to pronounce each. Learning the accurate pronunciation of a term will give you more confidence to use them, which is why many English language learners advance if they regularly converse with someone.

So, here is a quick pronunciation guide:

  • Here is the phonetic spelling of 'manor':


  • This is the phonetic spelling of 'mansion':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'house':


Sample Sentences Using 'Manor' or 'Mansion' or 'House'

Finally, before you go, read these sample sentences. They will help to cement these terms in your brain.


  • When we pulled up to the manor, I was overwhelmed by the size.
  • The periwinkle color of the manor stood out against the lush green vegetation surrounding it.
  • Our manor is settled on a hill in the countryside.


  • Have you ever dreamed about living in a mansion?
  • Have you seen the enormous mansions they are building in our old neighborhood?
  • We are finally moving into our dream mansion. You have to come to see it!


  • The fashion house's recent line was its most profitable collection.
  • Our house is the one on the left-hand side of the street after you crossover the bridge.
  • Congratulations! Your new house is beautiful!

Final Advice on the Difference Between 'Manor' or 'Mansion' or 'House'

After all of the information we covered, let's do a quick recap: 

  • A 'manor' is a large stately home on an estate. 
  • A 'mansion' is an oversized home, but it is not necessarily on an estate. 
  • A 'house' is either an enterprise or business organization or a residential structure for one or more families. 

You should remember the difference between 'manor' or 'mansion' or 'house.' However, if you get confused in the future, you can always come back to review this lesson.

You can also read the other confusing words guides here to learn about other commonly mistaken English words. Each post contains definitions, usage tips, examples, and pronunciations. So, they are an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and learn grammar rules.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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