dor·​mi·​to·​ry | \ ˈdȯr-mə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce dormitory (audio) \
plural dormitories

Definition of dormitory

1 : a room for sleeping especially : a large room containing numerous beds
2 : a residence hall providing rooms for individuals or for groups usually without private baths
3 chiefly British : a residential community inhabited chiefly by commuters

Examples of dormitory in a Sentence

Guests at the camp can stay in private cabins or for a smaller fee in the dormitories.

Recent Examples on the Web

WeWork has also added services to provide short-term leasing for midsize and large companies as well as dormitory-style residences. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "WeWork Fails in Bid to Lease Space in New York’s World Trade Center," 5 Sep. 2018 An invisible line runs down Laurel Street, separating the Aggie Village dormitories from the bookstore, ticket office and mail center. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Divided over partisan election maps, Supreme Court could learn a lesson from divided college campus," 14 June 2018 Now Lives As a freshman at Columbia University, Mr. Geick lives in an on-campus dormitory. New York Times, "A College Wrestler Who Is Out and Writes Poetry," 27 Feb. 2018 In places such as Bihar’s Patna University even dormitories are organized along caste lines—not by the administration, but by students themselves. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Ethnic Quotas Are a Cautionary Tale," 24 Jan. 2019 The school’s financial model counted on tuition increases between 3.6 to 6.1 percent per year and also an $85 million sale of dormitories to a third-party student housing manager that would lease them back to the school. Laura Krantz,, "Mount Ida’s struggles included deficit, low graduation rate," 2 May 2018 In 1986, by which time the Charlesgate has become a college dormitory, journalism student Tommy Donnelly researches a multipart history of the building for the school paper. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Taking a Journey Into the Past," 13 Sep. 2018 In 1966, the city of Chicago awoke to the shocking news that eight student nurses had been brutally slain during the night in a South Side dormitory., "This day in history," 14 July 2018 When classes finish, students meander in groups to their dormitories to change from their plaid skirts and teal T-shirts into colorful sundresses. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dormitory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dormitory

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dormitory

Middle English, from Latin dormitorium, from dormire

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Statistics for dormitory

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dormitory

The first known use of dormitory was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for dormitory



English Language Learners Definition of dormitory

US : a building on a school campus that has rooms where students can live
: a large room with many beds where people can sleep


dor·​mi·​to·​ry | \ ˈdȯr-mə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce dormitory (audio) \
plural dormitories

Kids Definition of dormitory

1 : a building at a school with rooms where students live a college dormitory
2 : a large room for several people to sleep

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More from Merriam-Webster on dormitory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dormitory

Spanish Central: Translation of dormitory

Nglish: Translation of dormitory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dormitory for Arabic Speakers

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