Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something that provides cover or protection, as from the weather.
  • n. A refuge; a haven.
  • n. An establishment that provides temporary housing for homeless people.
  • n. The state of being covered or protected.
  • transitive v. To provide cover or protection for.
  • transitive v. To invest (income) to protect it from taxation.
  • intransitive v. To take cover; find refuge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A refuge, haven or other cover or protection from something
  • n. An institution that provides temporary housing for homeless people, battered women etc
  • v. To provide cover
  • v. To take cover

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which covers or defends from injury or annoyance; a protection; a screen.
  • n. One who protects; a guardian; a defender.
  • n. The state of being covered and protected; protection; security.
  • transitive v. To be a shelter for; to provide with a shelter; to cover from injury or annoyance; to shield; to protect.
  • transitive v. To screen or cover from notice; to disguise.
  • transitive v. To betake to cover, or to a safe place; -- used reflexively.
  • intransitive v. To take shelter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cover or defense from exposure, attack, injury, distress, annoyance, or the like; whatever shields or serves as a protection, as from the weather, attack, etc.; a place of protection: as, a shelter from the rain or wind; a shelter for the friendless.
  • n. The protection or immunity from attack, exposure, distress, etc., afforded by a place or thing; refuge; asylum.
  • n. Synonyms Screen, shield.
  • n. Cover, covert, sanctuary, haven. See the verb.
  • To protect from exposure, attack, injury, distress, or the like; afford cover or protection to; hence, to harbor: as, to shelter thieves.
  • To place under cover or shelter; seek shelter or protection for; house; with a reflexive pronoun, to take refuge; betake one's self to cover or a safe place.
  • Synonyms To Defend, Protect, etc. (see keep), shield, screen, shroud, house, ensconce, hide.
  • To take shelter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. temporary housing for homeless or displaced persons
  • v. invest (money) so that it is not taxable
  • n. protective covering that provides protection from the weather
  • n. a structure that provides privacy and protection from danger
  • v. provide shelter for
  • n. the condition of being protected
  • n. a way of organizing business to reduce the taxes it must pay on current earnings

Etymologies

Perhaps from Middle English sheltron, tight battle formation, from Old English scildtruma : scield, shield; see shield + truma, troop.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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