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[hohm-lis] /ˈhoʊm lɪs/
without a home:
a homeless child.
noun, (used with a plural verb)
the homeless, persons who lack permanent housing.
Origin of homeless
First recorded in 1605-15
Related forms
homelessly, adverb
homelessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for homeless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had shrunk past homeless people, lying coiled up in nooks.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • There is a movement in Paris, too, to provide for sick and homeless cats as well as dogs.

    Concerning Cats Helen M. Winslow
  • A homeless, friendless non-entity, picked up off the street.

    There is a Reaper ... Charles V. De Vet
  • "You shall not be homeless, Sim, if the worst comes to the worst," he said.

  • He was, when all is said, an escaped slave, an outlaw in his own land and a homeless outcast in any other.

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for homeless


  1. having nowhere to live
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the): the homeless
Derived Forms
homelessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for homeless

1610s, from home (n.) + -less. Old English had hamleas, but the modern word probably is a new formation. As a noun meaning "homeless persons," by 1857.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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