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 council moved to its next meeting agenda two items dealing with accessory dwelling units. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Oct. 18," 18 Oct. 2020 Several jurisdictions have gotten rid of the R1 zoning and allowed accessory dwelling units in neighborhoods. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Like It or Not, the Suburbs Are Changing," 16 Oct. 2020 At a special meeting on Sept. 21, the West Hartford Town Council heard a report from town staff on accessory dwelling units, for the purposes of forming a zoning ordinance. Steve Smith, courant.com, "West Hartford council discusses accessory dwelling units," 2 Oct. 2020 Her family lived in a slum, in a makeshift dwelling. Smita Sharma, National Geographic, "Stolen lives: The harrowing story of two girls sold into sexual slavery," 28 Sep. 2020 Guest quarters, or accessory dwelling units, can vary in function -- from offices, to designated yoga space, to spaces for visiting grandparents, for college-aged children, even a ballroom at one historic home. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Social distancing at home: These North Texas listings let you spread out with guest quarters," 9 Sep. 2020 Sweden also has a smaller number of multigenerational households that most of Europe and the lowest median household size in the region: roughly 2.2 people in one dwelling. Fox News, "Jury still out on Sweden’s ‘experiment’ on coronavirus pandemic management, experts say," 15 Apr. 2020 The council approved updates to the city’s density bonus regulations, and changes to city code to align with state law related to accessory dwelling units. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Sept. 20," 20 Sep. 2020 Sleep inside an absolutely stunning traditional adobe dwelling in Santa Fe. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "6 Airbnbs Keeping Latinx Culture Alive for Hispanic Heritage Month," 16 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dwelling

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwelling. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dwelling


How to pronounce dwelling (audio)

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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