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

In Conway, powerful winds damaged several buildings at the University of Central Arkansas on Friday, including the roof of a freshman dormitory that was evacuated. Steve Karnowski,, "Spring storm blasts central U.S. with snow, ice and wind; 2 dead," 14 Apr. 2018 That puts people in the same dormitory or on the same sports team at the greatest risk for the contagious illness. Elana Glowatz, Newsweek, "Mumps Signs and Symptoms: Tens of Thousands of Cheerleaders Exposed to Virus During National Competition," 8 Mar. 2018 So far 97 of the cases have been at Horeb Youth Centre, a dormitory that housed many local security staff members; 11 were in Pyeongchang; 20 were in Gangneung. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "Norovirus Spreads at Olympics: Now 128 Confirmed Cases," 8 Feb. 2018 Housing developments have outpaced infrastructure, leading to dormitory suburbs, whose residents commute daily but enjoy few services, amenities, and transport links. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 But in this hypothetical scenario, which might have played out in thousands of darkened bedrooms and dormitories down the years, all the men can do is wait for the symptoms to pass. Veronique Greenwood, Scientific American, "How Gene Expression Runs on a Clock--And What It Means for Medical Treatments," 19 June 2018 Nine dormitories sit in one district, six in another. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Divided over partisan election maps, Supreme Court could learn a lesson from divided college campus," 14 June 2018 The community manager, who plays a tricky hybrid role of landlord, dormitory R.A., and neighbor, reminded everyone that smoking in units was grounds for eviction. Benjy Hansen-bundy, GQ, "A Week Inside WeLive, the Utopian Apartment Complex That Wants to Disrupt City Living," 27 Feb. 2018 SW Camp Mohawk County Park 55-acre park features cabins, dormitories and camping areas, restrooms, a lake with a canoe-launching area, swimming pool, playground, basketball court, baseball field and trails. Houston Chronicle, "Where to pitch your tent and camp near Houston," 10 May 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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Phrases Related to dormitory

dormitory town

Statistics for dormitory

Last Updated

23 Sep 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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Comments on dormitory

What made you want to look up dormitory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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