dwell·​ing | \ ˈdwe-liŋ How to pronounce dwelling (audio) \

Definition of dwelling

: a shelter (such as a house) in which people live

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Examples of dwelling in a Sentence

the simple dwellings in which the Pilgrims spent the first winter at Plymouth
Recent Examples on the Web My priorities for affordable housing will be to support accessory dwelling unit legislation, allowing for more affordable housing options within our community. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Oct. 2021 Personal property limits usually fall somewhere between 50 percent to 70 percent of your dwelling coverage. Ashley Kilroy, Robb Report, 3 Oct. 2021 But more than half of the cases were closed after an inspector couldn’t gain access to the dwelling, a New York Times analysis of buildings department data shows. New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 Below, explore the entire dwelling, which includes a custom swing in the living room that will leave you wondering why your own home doesn’t have one! Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 30 Aug. 2021 The dwelling, built in 1956 on a 6,534-square-foot lot, received $250,000 in recent upgrades including a new roof, plumbing, furnace and central air conditioning. oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2021 Officials said the first companies on the scene reported a working fire in a single-family dwelling, which was extinguished while other companies simultaneously performed search and rescue. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 30 May 2021 In these films, the aspirational, single family dwelling of the mid-20th century seems but a hazy dream. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2021 In Heinlein’s story, the tesseract house is a single-family dwelling, which collapses after a minor earthquake, just before the architect is going to take his two clients, a couple, on their first tour. Cressida Leyshon, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of dwelling

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dwelling

see dwell

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Time Traveler for dwelling

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dwelling



dwelling house

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Statistics for dwelling

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dwelling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwelling. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dwelling



English Language Learners Definition of dwelling

: a place where a person lives


dwell·​ing | \ ˈdwe-liŋ \

Kids Definition of dwelling

: a shelter in which a person or an animal lives



Legal Definition of dwelling

: 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

Nglish: Translation of dwelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwelling for Arabic Speakers


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