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

In Millwood itself, most African Americans lived in dwellings that lacked running water. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 Current law allows for two ADUs to be built in dwellings with five or more units. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "SF close to cutting fees for affordable projects and apartments in backyards, garages," 18 July 2019 Some dwellings were furnished with carved sculptures that were half human, half fish. Andrew Curry, National Geographic, "The first Europeans weren’t who you might think," 12 July 2019 The company, which sells homes and buys dwellings without requiring homeowners to list or show them, currently counts 230 workers in Scottsdale. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Real estate company Opendoor plans big boost in Phoenix-area jobs," 6 July 2019 The Bennetts recently stayed on a winery in Virginia through their subscription to Harvest Hosts, a membership network that offers dwellings on more than 742 wineries, breweries and farms. Tyra Mcclung, courant.com, "Heading Out On Your First RV Vacation? Some Tips," 2 July 2019 Vacation rentals are defined as dwellings that are rented for a period of 30 consecutive days or less and where the owner or operator does not live on the building site. USA TODAY, "Child rock climber, baby doll scare, real-life RoboCop: News from around our 50 states," 20 June 2019 Facing a shortage of houses in select markets, some big rental-home companies are cutting deals with home builders to construct new dwellings just for them. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "The Future of Housing Rises in Phoenix," 19 June 2019 Storms washed away makeshift dwellings, leaving camp residents cold and exposed. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "On a Greek Island That Welcomed Migrants, Residents and Refugees Feel Abandoned," 13 June 2019

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

21 Jul 2019

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

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).


to complain fretfully

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