A cottage is a small house, particularly a traditional or old-fashioned house, or one that is used seasonally. Your family might rent a cottage near the beach every summer.
In the US, a cottage typically has only one story, while in Canada a house can be much larger and still be called a cottage. In the Middle Ages, a cottage was housing for farm workers — sometimes known as cottagers — and the word implied not just a home, but also a barn and land. The first US holiday cottages were built in the 1880s in Bar Harbor, Maine and are credited with introducing the word cottage to North America.