bring the house down


      • to receive a lot of applause or laughter during a performance or event
        To describe a highly successful and impressive performance that captivates the audience and generates a strong positive reaction

      • to cause something to collapse or be destroyed
        To describe the act of causing a building or structure to collapse or be ruined

    Examples of bring the house down

    • The famous singer's electrifying performance brought the house down last night. The crowd was on their feet, cheering and clapping as she hit the final note of her last song.

      This idiom is used to describe a performance or event that was so exciting and entertaining that it left the audience spellbound and wanting more. The phrase "bring the house down" is taken literally from the old-time theatres, where a performer could receive such a rousing response that the whole building would seem to shake from the force of applause. Today, the idiom is used in a broad sense to describe anything that is exceptionally exciting, thrilling, or entertaining.

    • The stand-up comedy show had the audience in stitches throughout the night. The comedian's punchlines were so hilarious that they brought the house down multiple times.

      In this example, "bring the house down" is used to describe the comedian's ability to make the audience laugh so much that they forget about everything else and are completely engrossed in the performance. The phrase highlights the complete impact the comedian had on the audience and emphasizes the level of their hilarity.

    • The magician's sleight of hand was so astonishing that it left the audience breathless. His final trick, in which he made a tiger disappear and then reappear, brought the house down with thunderous applause.

      In this example, "bring the house down" is used to describe a magical trick that was so breathtaking and awe-inspiring that the audience was left spellbound. The phrase emphasizes the level of excitement and enthusiasm the audience had for the trick and adds to the overall mystique and wonder of the performer's art.

    • The political rally was a complete success. The candidate's fiery speech had the audience on the edge of their seats. The crowd chanted his name, and by the time he finished, the whole place was brought down with deafening cheers.

      In this example, "bring the house down" is used to describe a political rally that was so inspiring and energizing that the audience was completely engaged and actively participating. The phrase brings to mind the level of excitement and enthusiasm within the crowd, and highlights the impact the candidate had on the audience. It is a fitting description for a rally that was not just an event, but an experience.

    • The comedian's jokes were so hilarious that the audience couldn't stop laughing and he truly brought the house down.

      The phrase "bring the house down" is used to describe a situation where a person or performance is so entertaining or exciting that it evokes a strong emotional response from the audience, leading to a loud and prolonged applause that is so intense that it feels like the house (in this case, the entire building) is shaking or collapsing. In this example, the comedian's humor was so captivating that the audience became completely engrossed in the show and laughed uncontrollably, resulting in a thunderous ovation that brought the venue to its knees.

    • The singer's performance was so captivating that the audience rose to their feet, dancing and singing along, and the excitement in the air was electric. She truly brought the house down.

      This example illustrates how "bringing the house down" doesn't always have to involve laughing. In this case, the singer's performance was so powerful and captivating that it stirred up a frenzy of energy in the audience, causing them to rise and dance. The atmosphere in the room was charged with a palpable excitement that seemed to ignite every corner of the venue, making the entire house come alive.

    • The guest speaker's impassioned speech was so moving that the audience hung on every word, completely absorbed in her message. She truly brought the house down.

      In this example, "bringing the house down" doesn't always have to mean causing a chaotic scene. In this case, the guest speaker's words evoked a deep and profound emotional response in the audience, leaving them completely engrossed and moved by her message. The silence in the room was almost deafening as they hung on to every word, completely entranced by her wisdom and eloquence.

    • I've been to a lot of concerts, but that band's performance really brought the house down. The energy in the room was electric and I felt like I was a part of something truly special.

      This example highlights how "bringing the house down" doesn't always have to be a literal expression. In this case, the term is used figuratively to describe an experience that was truly unforgettable and left a lasting impression. The audience member's recount of the concert and the phrase "brought the house down" convey a sense of awe and wonder, suggesting that the experience was so powerful and transformative that it left a deep and indelible mark on the individual.


    The idiom "bring the house down" has two distinct meanings. The first one refers to receiving a lot of applause or laughter during a performance or event, indicating a highly successful and impressive performance. The second meaning is about causing something to collapse or be destroyed, usually in the context of a building or structure.

    This idiom is commonly used in the entertainment industry to describe the overwhelming positive reaction from the audience to a performance, such as in theater, comedy shows, or concerts. It can also be used metaphorically to describe a highly successful and impactful event or action.

    In contrast, the second meaning is used to describe a literal collapse or destruction of a building or structure, often due to a forceful impact or catastrophic event.

    Overall, "bring the house down" is a versatile idiom that can be used in both figurative and literal contexts to convey success or destruction.

    Origin of "bring the house down"

    The origin of the idiom "bring the house down" is not definitively known, but it is believed to have originated in the world of theater. The phrase likely stems from the idea of a performance being so astonishing and well-received that it figuratively brings the entire building down with the force of the audience's positive reaction.

    It is also possible that the idiom has roots in ancient architecture, where the collapse of a house or building would have been a dramatic and impactful event. Over time, the expression evolved to encompass both the idea of overwhelming success and literal destruction.

    Regardless of its exact origin, "bring the house down" has become a widely used and understood idiom in the English language, conveying the power and impact of a remarkable performance or event.