home·​stead | \ ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce homestead (audio) , -stid\

Definition of homestead

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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


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

Definition of homestead (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to acquire or occupy as a homestead

intransitive verb

: to acquire or settle on land under a homestead law


geographical name
Home·​stead | \ ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce Homestead (audio) \

Definition of Homestead (Entry 3 of 3)

city in southeastern Florida southwest of Miami population 60,512

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Other Words from homestead


homesteader \ ˈhōm-​ˌste-​dər How to pronounce homesteader (audio) \ noun

Examples of homestead in a Sentence


They decided to farm the old homestead.


They homesteaded the territory in the 1860s.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

San Antonio was the only city among Texas’ five largest metros that didn’t have a general homestead exemption for owners’ primary residences. Joshua Fechter,, "San Antonio’s new $2.9 billion budget to fund affordable housing, domestic violence prevention," 12 Sep. 2019 Golden was holding an old photograph of the Casey homestead on Franklin Street in Allston. Kevin Cullen,, "For the general’s son, it really is a wonderful life," 29 Aug. 2019 For the owner of a $150,000 home with a $50,000 homestead exemption and no increase in taxable value, the total tax bill from the district would fall from $29.36 to $27.95. David Fleshler,, "Water district asked to drop plan to cut tax rate and use money to fight sea-level rise," 24 Aug. 2019 Someone who owned a house valued at $100,000 after homestead exemptions would pay $75 a year toward the facility, in addition to their usual city property taxes. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Eustis charts new identity through $16M sailing and conference center," 22 Aug. 2019 Visit the site of a nearly 200-year-old homestead that belonged to some of northwest Indiana’s first settlers, the Baillys, who are buried nearby. Lori Rackl,, "A guide to catching fall colors at Indiana Dunes National Park: Where to eat, sleep and hike," 19 Aug. 2019 Two people at full strength could barely manage all the chores of a homestead: plowing, sowing, raising fence. David Canfield,, "A close read of Inland, the rare novel with a perfect ending," 15 Aug. 2019 This stroll through Murphy Park will feature the history and the trees of the Murphy family homestead. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Sunnyvale community briefs for the week of Aug. 2," 28 July 2019 In the vastness of this continent, there will always be an American settler tradition of a homestead free from intervention and imposition by outsiders, domestic and otherwise. Bilal Qureshi, Washington Post, "Immigration as reparation for colonialism, climate change and corporate greed," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The legend originated with a Mrs. Johnson who homesteaded nearby and was very concerned about her daughters’ reputations. Tom Noel, The Know, "16 strange, spooky and (mostly) true Colorado stories to tell around a campfire," 24 Aug. 2019 Even before people like Cliven Bundy started challenging the federal government in armed standoffs, there was a longer tradition of libertarian thinking that dates back to at least the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s, when homesteading was ended. Max Holleran, The New Republic, "The Water Wars Are Here," 13 Sep. 2019 Martinmaas, whose family homesteaded this land in 1888, said his farm operation lost more than $700,000 last year. Author: Annie Gowen, Anchorage Daily News, "Farmers loyal to Trump struggle with impact of trade war," 24 June 2019 History: Drue Bailey, an ex-Confederate soldier tired of wandering the West, homesteaded here in 1869. Martina Schimitschek, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Julian: Apple pie and the Old West bring visitors to this mountain town," 28 June 2019 These all head to the historic Nelson Ranch, which was first homesteaded by Richard Clark in 1890 before the Nelson family bought it in 1922. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 Farther south, Holzwarth Historic Site spins tales of a German immigrant family that homesteaded the valley in the 1860s. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "Everything to know about Rocky Mountain National Park," 8 May 2019 Will keeps their homesteading all but invisible in Forest Park, a nature preserve in the mountains just west of Portland, Oregon. Colin Covert, Detroit Free Press, "‘Leave No Trace’ is a moving father-daughter story," 12 July 2018 Will keeps their homesteading all but invisible in a nature preserve just west of Portland. Colin Covert, kansascity, "‘Leave No Trace’ is a quietly moving story of family love," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'homestead.' 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 homestead


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


1867, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for homestead

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for homestead

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

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More Definitions for homestead



English Language Learners Definition of homestead

: a house and the farmland it is on
US : a piece of government land that a person could acquire by living on it and farming it when the western part of the U.S. was being settled


home·​stead | \ ˈhōm-ˌsted How to pronounce homestead (audio) \

Kids Definition of homestead

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a home and the land around it
2 : a piece of land gained from United States public lands by living on and farming it


homesteaded; homesteading

Kids Definition of homestead (Entry 2 of 2)

: to acquire or settle on public land for use as a homestead

Other Words from homestead

homesteader \ ˈhōm-​ˌste-​dər \ noun


home·​stead | \ ˈhōm-ˌsted, -stid How to pronounce homestead (audio) \

Legal Definition of homestead

1a : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on homestead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with homestead

Spanish Central: Translation of homestead

Nglish: Translation of homestead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of homestead for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about homestead

Comments on homestead

What made you want to look up homestead? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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