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

When the sewer-dwelling, shapeshifting clown resurfaces, the unlikely heroes return to their hometown of Derry, Maine to get rid of the demon once and for all. Rebecca Rubin, chicagotribune.com, "‘It: Chapter Two’ floats to No. 1 with $91 million," 9 Sep. 2019 According to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 5 in Waukesha County Circuit Court, Ryan Bruening, 20, was charged with felony burglary of a building or dwelling, misdemeanor criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing, also a misdemeanor. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Hartland man could face up to 14 years in prison for a 2016 burglary in the town of Merton, complaint says," 9 Sep. 2019 And a great dwelling on it, and a great reflection on it. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "Scotland, Suffering, and Silence: An Interview with Sir James MacMillan," 30 Aug. 2019 Wander through BC Custom Construction's sweeping, single-story dwelling designed with privacy for two generations through Aug. 25 in Wisonville. oregonlive.com, "2019 Street of Dreams: Modern farmhouse has high-tech features," 16 Aug. 2019 The fire, which began in the interior of the single-story dwelling, caused about $135,000 in damage, officials said. Aegis Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Fire destroys vacant house in White Hall," 8 Aug. 2019 Earthy pinon incense wafting out of a charming, Altoid-tin-size pueblo dwelling. Bryan Fountain, Bon Appétit, "This Little Incense Burner Makes My Kitchen Smell Better and My Heart Fuller," 16 July 2019 The neighborhood grew around the Joshua Hempstead House, built in 1678 and considered one of the oldest dwellings in New England. Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, "Don’t overlook New London," 27 Aug. 2019 At the last count, a quarter of the dwellings in St Ives were second homes or holiday lets. The Economist, "St Ives’s second-home crackdown has unintended consequences," 18 July 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

15 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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