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

The Woodlands Township Board met on Wednesday for a regular meeting, hearing several reports and also deferring a decision on a homestead tax exemption for the time being. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Township notes: Board tables homestead tax exemption talks until August," 28 June 2019 Market shoppers are invited to stay and visit the historic homestead noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Carol Kovach,, "Parma Anima Shelter shares pet-care tips for lazy, hazy summer days: Sun Postings," 25 June 2019 The county building currently has offices where people can register to vote, pay a tax bill or file for a homestead exemption in addition to attend a county commission meeting or meet with county staff. Larry Barszewski,, "Starting cost for new government center: $420 million," 18 June 2019 So now council leaders are searching for lawmakers to sponsor their proposal to create a tiered homestead exemption. Dan Mcgowan,, "What’s holding up the state budget? Here’s a look," 14 June 2019 City Council members will vote Monday on a $5,000 homestead exemption that officials estimate would save homeowners about $28 on their annual city tax bill. Joshua Fechter,, "San Antonio homeowners may get some property tax relief after City Council vote Monday," 24 June 2019 Jefferson Parish adviser broke laws on eligibility, homestead exemption, inquiry finds Planning Advisory Board member didn't live or vote in Jefferson; vetting called inadequate . . . . . . . Drew Broach,, "Jefferson inspector general must give reason to question Parish Council member, judge rules," 22 June 2019 After an attempt to sell the property in 2014, the Poulsen children re-listed their family’s homestead this past summer. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Historic ski chalet on last large parcel in Squaw Valley asks $15M," 11 Dec. 2018 Also in January, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, the mother of Hernandez’s daughter, filed a document called a right of homestead asserting that her child is entitled to $500,000 from the sale. Travis Andersen,, "Lawyers for Aaron Hernandez estate, mother of Odin Lloyd spar over $100,000 in account funds," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Settlers, alas, chose to name it after Confederate Army surgeon Marshall Clay Woodson, who in 1875 homesteaded near here. Brian E. Clark,, "Two scenic San Diego hikes, mountaintop and seaside," 24 June 2018 With a change to homestead exemptions threatening future APS tax revenue, APS demanded closure of the Eastside TAD and other concessions to support the Gulch deal. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Texts show Bottoms and Atlanta schools negotiating Gulch incentives," 21 June 2018 His wife's family homesteaded in Willow in the 1950s. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Don Young’s conservative primary challenger," 9 June 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

11 Jul 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

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characterized by aphorism

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