dwell·​ing ˈdwe-liŋ How to pronounce dwelling (audio)
: a shelter (such as a house) in which people live

Example Sentences

the simple dwellings in which the Pilgrims spent the first winter at Plymouth
Recent Examples on the Web In that community, the allocation is more generous, with licenses limited to 30 percent of the community’s total dwelling units, or about 1,100. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Nov. 2022 Accessory dwelling units are known by many names: in-law suites, guest houses, backyard cottages, or basement or garage conversions, among others. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 15 Nov. 2022 Samara is initially launching in California, which is one of the states trying to boost its housing supply by easing restrictions on accessory dwelling units. Konrad Putzier, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2022 In Los Angeles, where home prices and rents are spiking, accessory dwelling units have become a powerful tool that allows homeowners to make the most of their properties. Los Angeles Times, 4 Nov. 2022 The new Riva Road development that will bring 508 new dwelling units and a 793-space parking garage to a 12-acre parcel of land is a perfect example of this. Jessica Haire, Baltimore Sun, 24 Oct. 2022 When phase two is completed, Belle Oaks will include 800 dwelling units. cleveland, 6 Oct. 2022 Should accessory dwelling units be allowed statewide in Massachusetts? BostonGlobe.com, 22 Sep. 2022 However, aside from asking Kravitz to issue a recommendation and worries about the state law change to accessory dwelling units, the Planning Board members did not discuss the regulation. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 20 Sep. 2022 See More

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

Word History


see dwell

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dwelling was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dwelling

Cite this Entry

“Dwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwelling. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: a shelter in which people live : house

Legal Definition



: a structure where a person lives and especially sleeps

called also dwelling house

see also burglary

Note: Courts disagree as to how permanent or consistent the habitation of a structure must be in order for it to be considered a dwelling, but most courts agree that a dwelling includes its curtilage.

More from Merriam-Webster on dwelling

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.