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

Definition of dwelling

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

Examples of dwelling in a Sentence

the simple dwellings in which the Pilgrims spent the first winter at Plymouth
Recent Examples on the Web Even a traditionalist could fall for a concrete-and-glass dwelling with a towering interior atrium. oregonlive, 23 Nov. 2021 Atsye was referring to Cliff Palace, the largest cliff dwelling in North America, which was once inhabited by southwestern American Indians now known as ancestral Pueblo people, who farmed on the mesa tops above. Emily D'alessandro, CBS News, 20 Nov. 2021 Inside that dwelling — inside his head? — the sounds from the other side of the door are distorted. Lisa Kennedy, Variety, 18 Nov. 2021 The 1923 structure was originally designed as a duplex, but it was reclassified as a single-family dwelling in the 1980s. Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2021 Mere feet from the palm frond hut was a four-bedroom, cinderblock and concrete dwelling under construction. Juju Chang, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2021 In 1853, the first depot was built in Brookfield, but after that depot was used as a dwelling, the second depot was erected in 1867. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Nov. 2021 The program would apply to lots or parcels where zoning allows for five of more dwelling units, such as the development of a small subdivision in an area zoned for single-family homes or a parcel zoned for multifamily or mixed use, Rood said. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, 3 Nov. 2021 The Del Mar City Council met Monday and directed staff to prioritize the creation of objective design standards for by-right development for single and duplex dwelling units; and to create public workshops explaining the process. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Oct. 2021

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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Time Traveler for dwelling

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dwelling



dwelling house

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Statistics for dwelling

Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwelling. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dwelling

Nglish: Translation of dwelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwelling for Arabic Speakers


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