dwell·​ing ˈdwe-liŋ How to pronounce dwelling (audio)
: a shelter (such as a house) in which people live

Example Sentences

the simple dwellings in which the Pilgrims spent the first winter at Plymouth
Recent Examples on the Web The victims' bodies were found on different floors of the dwelling; three victims were found on the second floor, and two were found on the first level. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 4 Mar. 2023 The dwelling also got the star treatment when Eilish toured it and the surrounding neighborhood in a 2019 episode of The Late Late Show. Lauren Huff, EW.com, 7 Jan. 2023 An occupant of a house in Fairfax County was unaccounted for Monday night after the dwelling was destroyed by fire, the fire department said. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 27 Dec. 2022 Firefighters were called to the Forest Cove apartments along Thomasville Boulevard at about 5:15 p.m. regarding the blaze at the two-story dwelling, the fire department said in a press release. Caroline Silva, ajc, 23 Nov. 2022 Construction of the twenty-room dwelling began during the twelfth century by a group connected to the Hohokam people of Southern Arizona, a feat that took a remarkable three centuries to complete. Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Nov. 2022 The two-level dwelling has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,560 square feet of living space. oregonlive, 14 Nov. 2022 The front window was reportedly broken by a large landscaping rock, as it was found laying inside the dwelling with the broken glass. Chicago Tribune, 25 Oct. 2022 No one was injured, though the dwelling sustained some damage. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dwelling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see dwell

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dwelling was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dwelling

Cite this Entry

“Dwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwelling. Accessed 31 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a shelter in which people live : house

Legal Definition


: a structure where a person lives and especially sleeps

called also dwelling house

see also burglary

Note: Courts disagree as to how permanent or consistent the habitation of a structure must be in order for it to be considered a dwelling, but most courts agree that a dwelling includes its curtilage.

More from Merriam-Webster on dwelling

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love It or Hate It

  • heart-fire
  • When asked about her blind date, Carol spoke for hours with vitriol.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?