shelter

noun
shel·​ter | \ˈshel-tər \

Definition of shelter 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : something that covers or affords protection a bomb shelter

b : an establishment providing food and shelter (as to the homeless)

c : an establishment that houses and feeds stray or unwanted animals

2 : a position or the state of being covered and protected took shelter

shelter

verb
sheltered; sheltering\ ˈshel-​t(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of shelter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to constitute or provide a shelter for : protect has led a sheltered life

2 : to place under shelter or protection sheltered himself in a mountain cave

3 : to protect (income) from taxation

intransitive verb

: to take shelter

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shelter

Noun

shelterless \ ˈshel-​tər-​ləs \ adjective

Verb

shelterer \ ˈshel-​tər-​ər \ noun

Examples of shelter in a Sentence

Noun

We made a shelter from branches. a shelter for battered women The organization provides food and shelter for homeless people. The crowd ran for shelter when the rain started. They sought shelter from the storm.

Verb

A cave sheltered the climbers during the storm. They sheltered in a cave while they waited for the storm to pass.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For instance, a mother with a young child might decide to stay together in detention, while a mother with an older teen might elect for a shelter or to be placed with a sponsor. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Trump administration says detained parents must decide whether to keep families intact," 10 July 2018 Some 30,000 people were expected to seek emergency shelter as the flooding entered its fourth day. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Dam gates, dredging are major topics at county flood bond meeting in Kingwood," 12 July 2018 Piringer said snakes typically like to seek shelter in woodpiles. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, "Man bitten by copperhead snake in Maryland," 10 July 2018 Puerto Rico Health Secretary Rafael Rodriguez urged all those with serious health conditions, including diabetics, to seek shelter at health facilities, which have generators. Danica Coto, Fox News, "Hurricane Beryl heads for late weekend entry into Caribbean," 7 July 2018 Police on the scene Wednesday night in Chicago radioed that thousands of people sought shelter under a bridge on Lake Shore Drive. Alicia Fabbre, Elgin Courier-News, "'I felt the shock': St. Charles fire captain, Plainfield paramedic credited with saving lives of 2 lightning strike victims," 6 July 2018 At issue is the right of those seeking shelter in the United States to be released while their applications for asylum are making their way through the courts, a process that can take years. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Court Blocks Trump Administration From Blanket Detention of Asylum Seekers," 2 July 2018 Then 12 minutes into Lowe’s set, rain swept over the grounds, and a flood of people ran down the steps seeking shelter under the pavilion’s roof. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 5: Greta Van Fleet, Chromeo, Rick Springfield and more," 1 July 2018 Four people sought shelter at the Blanca center while 14 others stayed in Walsenburg, the Red Cross said in a statement. CBS News, "Spring Fire in Colorado prompts thousands of evacuations," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The rescue vessel, the MV Lifeline, run by the German charity Mission Lifeline, has been unable to offload 234 people sheltering onboard since they were rescued from two rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean on Thursday. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Italy and Malta Block Another Rescue Ship Carrying Migrants," 24 June 2018 Meanwhile, three of the 12 immigrant children at a Catholic Charities shelter in Fort Worth, near Dallas, were expected to be reunited with their family on Thursday. Nomaan Merchant And Susan Montoya Bryan, chicagotribune.com, "Feds seek removal of 20-day limit on immigrant family holds," 21 June 2018 Its damaged sign now stands over bay windows boarded up by people sheltering inside. Fox News, "War leaves Yemen's Aden hollowed-out shadow of former self," 14 June 2018 Some residents sheltered in cars as firefighters worked. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Florence morning apartment fire: 20 evacuate in icy cold," 3 Jan. 2018 Farmers in upstate New York and neighboring states might be told to shelter their animals and postpone or destroy their harvests, due to contamination. Daily Intelligencer, "This Is What a Nuclear Bomb Looks Like," 12 June 2018 Baltimore County police told residents in the area of Belair and Klausmeier roads to shelter in place amid the search. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "16-year-old charged in Maryland police officer’s death, three others in custody," 22 May 2018 Officials said wind could carry the ash toward the southeast and told residents to shelter in place and avoid driving, due to low visibility and slick roads. James Rogers, Fox News, "Hawaii volcano's 'explosive' eruption sends ash plume soaring, prompts warning," 17 May 2018 The oxygen level where the boys were sheltering had dipped to 15 percent. Hannah Beech, Richard C. Paddock And Muktita Suhartono, New York Times, "‘Still Can’t Believe It Worked’: The Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shelter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of shelter

Noun

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for shelter

Noun

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shelter

Statistics for shelter

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shelter

The first known use of shelter was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shelter

shelter

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shelter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a structure that covers or protects people or things

: a place that provides food and protection for people or animals that need assistance

: a place to live

shelter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of shelter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to protect (someone) from danger, bad weather, etc. : to provide shelter for (someone)

: to be in a place that provides protection from danger, bad weather, etc. : to take shelter

shelter

noun
shel·​ter | \ˈshel-tər \

Kids Definition of shelter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that covers or protects We made a shelter from branches.

2 : a place that provides food and housing to those in need a homeless shelter an animal shelter

3 : the condition of being protected I found shelter from the storm.

shelter

verb
sheltered; sheltering

Kids Definition of shelter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to provide with a place that covers or protects : be a shelter for A cave sheltered the climbers.

2 : to find and use a shelter for protection … within minutes, half the class was sheltering under desks …— J. K. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on shelter

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!