dwell·​ing | \ ˈdwe-liŋ How to pronounce dwelling (audio) \

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

The case was settled when the owner agreed to return the home back to a single-family dwelling, said Licensing and Inspections Commissioner David Perri. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Illegal Philly boarding house where 4 died owned by former San Diego federal agent," 30 Apr. 2018 Prototype single-family dwellings have been 3-D-printed in China, Italy, Russia—and Texas. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "3-D Printed Buildings Are a Tech Twist on Ancient Construction Techniques," 1 Apr. 2018 Beetler also was charged earlier this year in Kansas with discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, according to police. Washington Post, "One man arrested, two sought in slaying of Colorado sheriff’s deputy," 6 Mar. 2018 The bill would require cities and counties to allow duplexes and some higher-density housing in lands zoned for single-family dwellings. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "Oregon aims to tackle homelessness, housing crisis," 11 Feb. 2019 Head north to Palopo, and then up winding mountain roads surrounded by stunning forest and coffee plantations, home to the Toraja tribe who live in remote hilltop dwellings. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places Our Travel Specialists Say You Should Go in 2019," 17 Dec. 2018 The amazing dwelling space belongs to Brittany Willis, 19, majoring in equine science. Katelyn Chef, Teen Vogue, "University of Kentucky Dorm Decor," 30 Aug. 2018 Such is the case with this compact dwelling that sits at the foot of Siming Mountain in Yuyao, China. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Undulating bamboo house looks like it’s wearing a hat," 24 July 2018 Say it again: Bears Ears, a landscape marked by two mesas climbing out of the Utah desert, geologic high marks overseeing a sacred region of canyons and cliff dwellings. Abe Streep, Outside Online, "The Tribes v. Donald Trump," 1 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

17 Mar 2019

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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

formal : 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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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