homestead

1 of 2

noun

home·​stead ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce homestead (audio)
-stid
1
a
: the home and adjoining land occupied by a family
b
: an ancestral home
c
: house
2
: a tract of land acquired from U.S. public lands by filing a record and living on and cultivating the tract

homestead

2 of 2

verb

home·​stead ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce homestead (audio)
homesteaded; homesteading; homesteads

transitive verb

: to acquire or occupy (land) as a homestead
Piet drove over the nearly impassable mountains from Capetown to homestead his two farms …Julian Moynihan
… he wants his children and grandchildren to be able to work the rich soil homesteaded by their ancestors in the 1800s.James Anderson

intransitive verb

1
: to acquire or settle on land under a homestead law (see homestead law sense 2)
Parker's maternal relatives were homesteading way out on the Texas frontier in 1836, south of modern Dallas, lured there by generous land grants offered by the Mexican government.David Holahan
2
: to live frugally or self-sufficiently (as on a homestead) especially by growing and preserving food
They homestead on about 4 acres with a 5,000 square foot garden, greenhouse and an enclosed porch that they use as an additional greenhouse.The Paper of Montgomery County (Crawfordsville, Indiana)
The food insecurity of my childhood undoubtedly informed my decision to homestead as an adult. … We have chickens and ducks, and my husband grows an organic garden that supplies well over half of our family's food for the year.Crystal Sands

Examples of homestead in a Sentence

Noun They decided to farm the old homestead. Verb They homesteaded the territory in the 1860s.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Carollo’s lawyers have argued that his Morris Lane home is his legal homestead under a state constitutional provision that protects such properties from being seized to pay a legal judgment. Tess Riski, Miami Herald, 17 May 2024 Both property owners and child care directors that are renting their space would benefit financially, but operators of child care homes on a property that already claims a homestead exemption would be ineligible to have the child care exemption. Lina Ruiz, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for homestead 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'homestead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1867, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of homestead was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near homestead

homestay

homestead

Homestead

Cite this Entry

“Homestead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homestead. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

homestead

1 of 2 noun
home·​stead -ˌsted How to pronounce homestead (audio)
1
: a home and surrounding land
2
: a piece of land acquired from U.S. public lands by living on and cultivating it

homestead

2 of 2 verb
: to acquire or settle on public land for use as a homestead
homesteader
-ˌsted-ər
noun

Legal Definition

homestead

noun
home·​stead ˈhōm-ˌsted, -stid How to pronounce homestead (audio)
1
a
: the home and adjoining land with any buildings that is occupied usually by a family as its principal residence
b
: an estate created by law in a homestead especially for the purpose of taking advantage of a homestead exemption
2
: a tract of land acquired from U.S. public lands by filing a record and living on and cultivating the tract

Geographical Definition

Homestead

geographical name

Home·​stead ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce Homestead (audio)
city in southeastern Florida southwest of Miami population 60,512
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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