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

Smuggling networks rent houses or mobile homes, cover the windows and begin cycling migrants through dwellings that often are filthy and packed. Nicholas Kulish, The Seattle Times, "Human smuggling cat-and-mouse game plays out beyond the U.S.-Mexico border," 9 July 2018 Smuggling networks rent houses or mobile homes, cover the windows and begin cycling migrants through dwellings that often are filthy and packed. Nicholas Kulish, New York Times, "Border Patrol’s Last Line of Defense? It Isn’t at the Border," 9 July 2018 However, in the R-1 and R1-A A single family districts, they are allowed only if added to or created within a detached single family dwelling. Connie Yoshimura, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s new accessory dwelling ordinance makes some big changes in housing rules," 28 June 2018 Saved from demolition, these Ming- and Qing-dynasty era dwellings have been reassembled, brick by ancient brick. Jessica Flint, WSJ, "The Best New Hotels in Downtown Los Angeles," 21 June 2018 The new law did change the rules so that mortgage interest now only can be deducted on up to $750,000 in debt (on your primary home and one additional dwelling). Russ Wiles, azcentral, "5 myths and misconceptions about new income-tax rules," 3 June 2018 County fire crews responded to the 300 block of Pine St. for a dwelling fire at about 8:24 a.m. Wednesday. baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County police investigating report of police gun discharged at scene of fire," 23 May 2018 Plans call for the first home, a three-bedroom dwelling of just over 1,000 square feet, to be completed in mid-2019 — though the entire initiative will take five years because the technology is still being refined. NBC News, "Dutch city's 3D-printed homes could help upend the construction industry," 2 July 2018 All the new serpents belong to the genera Dipsas or Sibon, which are nonvenomous, tree-dwelling, snail-eating snakes found in South America. Alejandro Arteaga, National Geographic, "These 5 New Snake Species Suck Snails Out of Their Shells," 14 June 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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Phrases Related to dwelling

dwelling place

two-family house/dwelling

Statistics for dwelling

Last Updated

13 Oct 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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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