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

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 Amendment 2, Limitations on Property Tax Assessments, another property tax proposal referred by the Legislature, would cement an existing cap on non-homestead property assessments. Elizabeth Koh, miamiherald, "Here are the 13 constitutional amendments on Florida's 2018 ballot and what they do," 14 June 2018 Taos Goji El Prado, New Mexico Nestled in San Cristobal, Taos Goji is an organic farm that offers WWOOFers and foodies alike a chance to stay on a homestead dating back to the 1880s. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "Agriturismo, American style: 8 farm and food experiences in the USA," 15 June 2018 Each resident was given a tiny plot for a new homestead, but the city didn’t connect them to water, leaving families with the formidable challenge of filling their plastic yellow jerry cans (ubiquitous in Nairobi) every day. Elijah Wolfson, Newsweek, "A Water Project Cleans Up Nairobi's Slum," 9 Nov. 2014 Location: East Haddam, Connecticut Price: $683,000 There are plenty of old homes in the Northeast, ranging from small homesteads to grand Victorian mansions. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Country house on 59 acres blends old and new for $683K," 12 Dec. 2018 Quinn The ReachIn the middle of Umbria is a 15th-century homestead, Monestevole, that reopened in 2013 as part agriturismo, part hotel, and part family home. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 Discovery's popular show, Alaska: The Last Frontier, is coming back for its eighth season to remind us what life on a homestead is really like. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Exclusive Season Preview of 'Alaska: The Last Frontier' Confronts the Threat of a 'Deadly' Disease," 6 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Their son, Roy, homesteaded there with his own family. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Bundyville Chapter Four: The Gospel of Bundy," 18 May 2018 With rents ever higher in Chelsea’s old garages and the Lower East Side’s tenements, nearly a dozen homesteading dealers have moved to a few blocks of terra nullius hemmed in by SoHo, TriBeCa and the Civic Center. New York Times, "The 54 Galleries to See Right Now in New York," 26 Apr. 2018 The center of the community’ The 23-acre site, known as The Hill, was part of a 160-acre first homesteaded in 1891, Angus Hill and his descendants raised sheep there. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "A new YMCA is opening this spring in Meridian. Why doesn’t it have a pool? | Idaho Statesman," 21 Mar. 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

2 May 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

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