dor·​mi·​to·​ry | \ˈdȯr-mə-ˌtȯr-ē \
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

Another group played soccer, shouting and laughing in a grass courtyard between dormitories. Ben Fox,, "Rubio, journalists tour center for migrant children in Homestead," 22 June 2018 Another group played soccer, shouting and laughing in a grass courtyard between dormitories. CBS News, "CBS News gains access to Homestead, Florida, detention center," 22 June 2018 Adelphi University, the most recent institution to express interest in dormitory space, backed out. Allegra Hobbs, New York Times, "Gentrification’s Empty Victory," 1 June 2018 In 1887, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley set up their project in the dormitory basement at a university in Cleveland, Ohio. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "The Eternal Quest for Aether, the Cosmic Stuff That Never Was," 19 Oct. 2018 On a recent evening, deer grazed near a roadway as students hurried to class and played basketball outside a dormitory. Rick Rojas, New York Times, "2 Student Murders Have Binghamton University on Edge," 22 Apr. 2018 The scientists live in dormitory-style rooms with small bunks, and work in a room that looks like a high computing facility with rack upon rack of computers and cables. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blazing a trail: UW professor's dream leads to breakthrough in identifying origin of cosmic rays," 12 July 2018 Tent cabins and meals: The lottery to reserve a spot in the dormitory-style tent cabins at the five High Sierra camps is closed for this year and will open Aug. 1 for summer 2019. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "Yosemite backpacking with kids is worth a few tears," 26 Apr. 2018 The new men's basketball dormitory, funded by a group spearheaded by Craft, is named the Wildcat Coal Lodge. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Report: Coal exec Joe Craft, big UK donor, is 'cozy' to Scott Pruitt," 2 June 2018

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

2 Dec 2018

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

: 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 \
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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a nest or breeding place

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