There's No Word Like Home

Shelter is a basic human need, as essential as food and water. As a result, there are many words to describe the place you live, each with its own history and connotation. Get ready for some home schooling!
Read more...

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. abode
    any address at which you dwell more than temporarily
    Positioned at the back of the 2,400-square-foot abode, the office houses a cabinet brimming with scripts and shelves laden with inspiring books, art and knickknacks from her projects and travels.Los Angeles Times (Apr 4, 2020)
    Like dwelling, below, abode originates in a word meaning "to wait," though in this case of Germanic origin. If you wait long enough in one place, then you live there.
  2. bungalow
    a small house with a single story
    She arrived back to the first stop — on a wide road between a hospital and brick bungalows — at 11:57 a.m.New York Times (Apr 15, 2020)
    Bangla is a Hindustani word meaning "of Bengal," referring to a type of low, modest dwelling.
  3. condominium
    housing complex in which each unit is individually owned
    Transient rentals are defined as “a room, apartment, house, condominium, beach house, hotel room, suite, or similar living accommodation” rented for less than 180 consecutive days, according to the state Department of Taxation.Washington Times (Apr 20, 2020)
    Dominion is a Latin word for "kingdom." And con- is a Latin prefix meaning "together." So condominium essentially means "many little kingdoms under one roof."
  4. cottage
    a small house with a single story
    He kept talking to her as he led her through the village to a small cottage just a five-minute walk from the market square.Breadcrumbs
    Cot is an Old English word for "little house" or "hut."
  5. domain
    territory over which rule or control is exercised
    The third effort we must focus on may lie beyond most of our individual domains but is equally important for us to understand and support – the scientific effort towards a medical solution.Fox News (Mar 1, 2020)
    Domain, along with domicile and dominion, below, all come from the Latin word domus, meaning "house." Domestic also comes from the same word.
  6. domicile
    housing that someone is living in
    Tourism “should be avoided,” the government’s decree said, and the movements of tourists should be limited “to going back to their own home, habitation or domicile.”New York Times (Mar 10, 2020)
  7. dominion
    dominance or power through legal authority
    They thrived on land, filled the seas, and soared overhead, confident in their dominion for well over 100 million years.Scientific American (Feb 2, 2020)
  8. dormitory
    a large sleeping room containing several beds
    Beginning in about mid-March, they ordered most students to evacuate dormitories and campuses.New York Times (Apr 22, 2020)
    Dormitorium means "sleeping place" in Latin.
  9. dwelling
    housing that someone is living in
    PASADENA: Two homes occupy this property on the northeast side of the city: a stylish Craftsman and a smaller Mission-style dwelling.Los Angeles Times (Apr 2, 2020)
    In Old English, dwęllan means "to delay" or "to hinder." Someone who is delayed will stay somewhere, and over time dwell evolved from "staying" in the sense of a short pause to "staying" as in "living" somewhere. But if a subject you're discussing is of particular interest to you, you can dwell on it — so the original meaning is still there as well.
  10. habitation
    the act of dwelling in or living permanently in a place
    Tourism “should be avoided,” the government’s decree said, and the movements of tourists should be limited “to going back to their own home, habitation or domicile.”New York Times (Mar 10, 2020)
    The Latin verb habitare, meaning "to live" is the source of our words inhabit and habitation.
  11. homestead
    the house and adjacent grounds occupied by a family
    Kanungu is a fertile and peaceful region of green hills and deep valleys, covered in small farms broken up by homesteads.BBC (Mar 16, 2020)
  12. hut
    small crude shelter used as a dwelling
    This was day two of me being stuck, alone, in a hikers’ hut in Iceland, and already I was playing a game of windowpane raindrop races to try and pass the time.The Guardian (Apr 4, 2020)
  13. manor
    the landed estate of a lord, including the house on it
    Like the movie, the show follows a trio of vampires — this time, they live on Staten Island as opposed to the New Zealand of the films — living together in a derelict old manor.The Verge (Apr 20, 2020)
    Manere is Latin for "to remain overnight" and that became manoir in French, referring to the building itself: a house.
  14. residence
    any address at which you dwell more than temporarily
    Building permits show it will be about 17,000 square feet and include a sport court, swimming pool and a 1,500-square-foot auxiliary residence.Los Angeles Times (Apr 24, 2020)
  15. shanty
    a small crude shelter used as a dwelling
    Dharavi is dotted with tens of thousands of tin-roofed shanties and one-room manufacturing units, where Indians’ daily struggle for space is laid bare in a nation where lives are folded into one another.Los Angeles Times (Apr 7, 2020)
    In Canadian French, a chantier is a roughly built lumberjack's hut. Shantytown is a word used to describe impoverished slums of houses built from whatever is available.
  16. shelter
    covering that provides protection from the weather
    In late March, images of homeless people sleeping in a converted parking lot prompted widespread condemnation after officials turned the outdoors lot into a temporary shelter.The Guardian (Apr 22, 2020)
Created on April 2, 2020 (updated May 5, 2020)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.