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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for homelessness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Wandering and homelessness are his first step in the ladder to heaven!'

    Two Penniless Princesses Charlotte M. Yonge
  • "No," said Gilian simply, even yet getting no grasp of his homelessness.

    Gilian The Dreamer Neil Munro
  • The time will come, and it is close at hand, When I shall wander into homelessness.

    The Buddha Paul Carus
  • But even in the groups where there was no hustle there was often something of homelessness.

    What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton
  • And the penalty of her refusal was not merely poverty and homelessness.

    The White Rose of Langley Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for homelessness


  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 homelessness

1814, from homeless + -ness.



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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