shelter

noun
shel·​ter | \ ˈshel-tər How to pronounce shelter (audio) \

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 How to pronounce shelter (audio) \

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
shelter in place
: to remain inside in one's current location until a danger has passed : to temporarily take shelter in a protected space The … campus was placed under lockdown in response to the shooting. People on campus were advised to shelter in place. No students were hurt or endangered, the school said.— Julia Jacobo These communities—including our own—need to start hardening themselves against future fires. That means preparing homes for fires the way we already do for earthquakes and floods. It also means developing better alert systems, heeding evacuation warnings when they come and being prepared to shelter in place when escape routes are cut off …The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California)

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Other Words from shelter

Noun

shelterless \ ˈshel-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce shelter (audio) \ adjective

Verb

shelterer \ ˈshel-​tər-​ər How to pronounce shelter (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for shelter

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The board now has time to decide whether to use it for food and shelter or public safety and public health. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "Stimulus will help, but problems remain for Lake County residents impacted by coronavirus downturn," 31 Dec. 2020 The researchers said that the green crabs likely thrive in Coos Bay because of available food and shelter. Scott Carroll, oregonlive, "Invasive green crabs threaten Dungeness in Coos Bay estuary," 29 Dec. 2020 Fighters now forcefully collect taxes, demand food and shelter from local families, and issue pronouncements based on strict Islamic law over a local radio station. Washington Post, "How life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan has changed — and how it hasn’t," 29 Dec. 2020 And millions are now facing the prospect of spending the holidays alone or struggling to make ends meet without adequate income, food or shelter thanks to the pandemic's economic toll. CBS News, "COVID relief bill flown to Florida, where Trump went golfing," 26 Dec. 2020 And millions are now facing the prospect of spending the holidays alone or struggling to make ends meet without adequate income, food or shelter thanks to the pandemic's economic toll. Arkansas Online, "Trump golfs in Florida as covid relief hangs in the balance," 25 Dec. 2020 And millions are now going through the holidays alone or struggling to make ends meet without adequate income, food or shelter thanks to the pandemic’s economic toll. Bloomberg.com, "Trump Golfs in Florida as COVID Relief Hangs in the Balance," 25 Dec. 2020 And millions are now facing the prospect of spending the holidays alone or struggling to make ends meet without adequate income, food or shelter thanks to the pandemic’s economic toll. Time, "President Trump Golfs as COVID-19 Relief and Government Shutdown Hang in the Balance," 25 Dec. 2020 Their ranks declined precipitously over many decades as populations of prairie dogs, the ferrets’ primary source of food and shelter, were decimated by farming, grazing and other human activity. Jonel Aleccia, Quartz, "Black-footed ferrets are getting their own Covid-19 vaccine," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Protocols have been put in place to help minimize the chance exposure to COVID-19 by those seeking a place to shelter. Carrie Napoleon, chicagotribune.com, "Watching the temperature for cold and COVID-19, Gary warming shelters ready to be opened," 21 Dec. 2020 Tree hollows make great homes and can become dens that shelter a group of six or seven. Jim Gilbert Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Eating and storing food are a squirrel's life in late autumn," 3 Dec. 2020 Residents are strongly encouraged to shelter in place and no more than 10 people may gather in public or private. NBC News, "Nov. 24 Covid news: Vaccines seek approval; States extend restrictions and mask mandates," 25 Nov. 2020 The perfect size for small birds such as chickadees to shelter in, this sweet little ceramic birdhouse (7.25 x 7.25 x 6.25 inches) can withstand rain and snow. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, "3 Adorable Birdhouses You'll Want to Hang in Your Yard Right Now," 19 Aug. 2020 Thanks so much for showing so much love to shelter pets impacted by the Tornado in Tennessee! Rebecca Norris, Country Living, "Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Raised More Than $80,000 for Animals Affected by Tennessee Tornadoes," 13 May 2020 The hope was to get the buildings purchased and renovated as quickly as possible to shelter homeless people during winter, but also comply with a rule stating CARES Act money had to be spent by the end of the year. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage officials say they won’t buy former Alaska Club building for homeless services," 26 Nov. 2020 With the installation originally planned to shelter 400 people in Red Cross tents, many have slept on the concrete and spent hours exposed to the sun. Joseph Wilson, Star Tribune, "Spain opens 2nd migrant camp on overrun Gran Canaria island," 18 Nov. 2020 The push comes as the council members are currently under pressure from U.S. District Judge David O. Carter to shelter homeless people in their districts, the paper reported. David Aaro, Fox News, "Los Angeles convention center may be transformed into homeless shelter: report," 11 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for shelter

Time Traveler

The first known use of shelter was in 1585

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Statistics for shelter

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shelter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shelter. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for shelter

shelter

noun
How to pronounce shelter (audio)

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 How to pronounce shelter (audio) \

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

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Comments on shelter

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