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 sheltering (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

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Other Words from shelter

Noun

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

Verb

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

Synonyms for shelter

Synonyms: Noun

asylum, bolt-hole [chiefly British], harbor, harborage, haven, refuge, retreat, sanctuary, sanctum

Synonyms: Verb

harbor, refuge

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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 spokesman said the migrants are being taken to temporary shelters and allowed to apply for asylum. Washington Post, "France evacuates 900 migrants from camp near English Channel," 18 Sep. 2019 The sanctuary movement in the 1980s involved hundreds of congregations providing shelter and resources to Central American refugees. Lisa Maria Garza, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida congregations of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to determine what ‘sanctuary’ means," 13 Sep. 2019 Some 15,000 people are still in need of shelter or food, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "15,000 people in the Bahamas are still without food or shelter after Hurricane Dorian," 12 Sep. 2019 How was building the shelter and setting up camp with just the two of you? Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Boston Rob and Sandra on why they said yes to Survivor: Island of the Idols," 11 Sep. 2019 Homelessness has come to dominate the state’s political conversation and prompted voters to approve several multibillion-dollar programs to build shelters and subsidized housing with services for people coming off the streets. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, "California Approves Statewide Rent Control to Ease Housing Crisis," 11 Sep. 2019 It is based on an assessment of the income needed for a minimum amount of food, clothing, shelter and utilities. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "The strange math behind US poverty numbers," 10 Sep. 2019 Our urgent task will be to provide food, water, shelter and safety and security. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Hurricane Dorian Death Toll Climbs to 30 — and 'Thousands' Are Still Missing in the Bahamas," 6 Sep. 2019 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Betty Cathy M. Rosenthal has worked for both local animal shelters and national humane groups for more than 25 years. Cathy M. Rosenthal, ExpressNews.com, "What to do when your cat won’t use the litter box," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The couple offered to shelter Herman with sympathetic farmers outside of town — and then, at Herman’s request, found a place for his fiancee and her mother as well. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Diet Eman, Dutch resistance hero who saved Jews during World War II, dies at 99," 6 Sep. 2019 The clatter of claws on the polished floor was heard throughout the lobby; evacuees from all over Florida arrived at the Wilderness Lodge, and pets were welcome to shelter at the resort during the storm. Samantha Mcnesby, USA TODAY, "How Disney World kept the magic alive as Hurricane Dorian threatened Florida," 4 Sep. 2019 The move comes amid a countywide housing shortage and provides a lower-cost alternative to those looking to shelter family members or supplement their income. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Santee waiving some costs to encourage more granny flats," 22 Aug. 2019 Clear The Shelters is the largest single-day adoption event in the country, and aims to bring awareness to shelter overcrowding. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area shelters offering free and reduced adoptions for 'Clear the Shelters' event," 14 Aug. 2019 On the eve of what would have been the island’s largest financial default, my family and others supported efforts by President Obama to shelter Puerto Rico from bankruptcy with congressional action. Time, "This is Puerto Rico's Moment for Real Change," 25 July 2019 Cellphone warnings that buzzed in Sendai gave university students enough time to shelter under their desks during a lecture, said Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory. Emily Baumgaertner, latimes.com, "L.A.’s ShakeAlert earthquake warning app worked exactly as planned. That’s the problem," 15 July 2019 Poma and her husband still own the Pulse property through two limited liability companies — entities designed to shelter individuals’ personal assets in any lawsuit against the business. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, "Pulse documents detail memorial plans, expected visitors, CEO Barbara Poma’s salary," 19 June 2019 In another video, residents opened their doors to shelter those who ran. Bassam Hatoum And Samy Magdy, chicagotribune.com, "At least 35 people dead as Sudan's ruling military moves against pro-democracy demonstrators," 3 June 2019

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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Statistics for shelter

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shelter

The first known use of shelter was in 1585

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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 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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