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

Noun They decided to farm the old homestead. Verb They homesteaded the territory in the 1860s.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the pages that follow, Wade details the difficult and physically demanding work that building a homestead requires. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "In the memoir ‘Cabin,’ a clear-eyed look at the Alaska wilderness dream," 23 May 2020 These include burning settlements as a disinfectant before either reoccupying them or shifting homesteads to new locations. Shadreck Chirikure, Quartz Africa, "How ancient African societies used social distancing to manage pandemics," 18 May 2020 Ken told us they had moved here four years ago, founding a 10-acre homestead where three generations of Greenwoods now live and work. Jayme Moye, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Vancouver Island Road Trip of Crisp Wines and Gigantic Trees," 14 May 2020 As for the low end of the homestead power rankings ... welp, sorry to single out Redskins VP of player personnel Kyle Smith. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from the 2020 NFL draft," 28 Apr. 2020 This type of deed does not affect the transferor’s homestead rights, their right to transfer or encumber the property, or their ad valorem tax exemptions. Wesley E. Wright, Houston Chronicle, "Elder Law: Texas Probate, although simple, some still try to avoid," 16 Apr. 2020 At Stanford, Stone ran into Ken Kesey, whose vibrating homesteads were the mudrooms and test labs of the Woodstock generation. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "The Life of Robert Stone, Who Captured American Energies in Intense, Foreboding Novels," 9 Mar. 2020 In 1970, the magazine published an article on the country’s most homestead-friendly land available for purchase. Longreads, "In Pocahontas County, Deep Divisions and a Gruesome Discovery," 22 Jan. 2020 Most, at least originally, were homesteads, although some were bought in groups as rental properties. Paula Allen,, "San Antonio West Side developers were subdivision pioneers," 18 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Originally homesteaded as an apple orchard, the Slide Rock area of Oak Creek Canyon is one of Arizona's most popular tourist destinations. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "New Year's hikes around Arizona: Here are 5 fun ways to welcome 2020," 30 Dec. 2019 Her paternal grandparents homesteaded in Chickaloon in the ’40s and ’50s. Anchorage Daily News, "For this Alaska clan, pipeline safety is the family business," 18 Oct. 2019 But disabled people who are homesteaded receive an additional tax discount. Tad Vezner, Twin Cities, "St. Paul man’s catch-22 case reveals impact of ‘accelerated foreclosure’ in Frogtown and other low-income neighborhoods," 2 Nov. 2019 Caring for the plants, much like homesteading, comes easy for Markey, who grew up on a farm. Author: Cheryl Upshaw, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Easy Money,’ hard work for Fairbanks volunteer," 30 Sep. 2019 My great-great-grandfather homesteaded the place in 1907. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Agriculture symposium takes look at what’s on the horizon for Colorado farmers, ranchers," 16 Oct. 2019 Then again, Blane Barksdale probably blended easily with the homesteading folk he was believed to be hiding among, Adams said. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Fugitive couple Blane, Susan Barksdale nabbed in Arizona manhunt," 11 Sep. 2019 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

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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Time Traveler for homestead

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for homestead

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Homestead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for homestead


How to pronounce Homestead (audio)

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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