dwell·​ing | \ˈdwe-liŋ \

Definition of dwelling 

: a shelter (such as a house) in which people live

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Examples of dwelling in a Sentence

the simple dwellings in which the Pilgrims spent the first winter at Plymouth

Recent Examples on the Web

Rural Studio is famous for its work on the 20K House, a variety of energy-efficient, inexpensive, and well-designed dwellings for rural homeowners designed to cost $20,000 or less. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "How a college architecture studio is tackling the affordable housing crisis," 18 July 2018 In other states, such as Oregon, state law mandates that maintenance and testing of detectors falls on owners of dwellings. Max Londberg, kansascity, "No smoke alarms found in Ozarks home where five kids were killed by fire, chief says," 12 June 2018 According to city documents, the high-density residential designation allows for future residential development at densities of up to 10 dwellings per acre. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Proposed senior living facility in Oconomowoc can move ahead," 11 June 2018 This 2,800-square-foot dwelling in Southwest Portland's Raleigh Hills was designed by architect Charles M. Goodman of Washington, DC and built in 1957 by W. C. Bauman of Portland using 75,000 pounds of the durable, abundant metal. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Step inside Portland's famous modern homes (photos)," 14 May 2018 The cliffside dwelling has incredible views of the ocean, and expansive gardens which recently opened to the public. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Where the European Royals Spend Their Summers," 30 July 2018 The dwellings are designed to house four astronauts. NBC News, "Here's what future Mars and lunar space colonies could look like," 7 July 2018 Only the adornments on the porches and in the yards-an American flag, a statue of the Virgin in a half bathtub-differentiated the dwellings. Edward Mcclelland, Chicago Reader, "Meet Resurrection Mary, the ghost of Archer Avenue," 26 June 2018 There are Native American clans who still live in the area and trace their lineage to the cliff dwellings. Zak Podmore, Outside Online, "The Native Americans Who Call the Grand Canyon Home," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dwelling.' 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 dwelling

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dwelling

see dwell

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Statistics for dwelling

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dwelling

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

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More Definitions for dwelling



English Language Learners Definition of dwelling

: a place where a person lives


dwell·​ing | \ˈdwe-liŋ\

Kids Definition of dwelling

: a shelter in which a person or an animal lives



Legal Definition of dwelling 

: 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dwelling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dwelling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwelling

Spanish Central: Translation of dwelling

Nglish: Translation of dwelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwelling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dwelling

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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