cliff dweller

noun
  1. (usually initial capital letter) a member of a prehistoric people of the southwestern U.S., who were ancestors of the Pueblo Indians and built shelters in caves or on the ledges of cliffs.
  2. a person who lives in an apartment house, especially in a large city.

Origin of cliff dweller

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85
Related formscliff dwelling, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cliff dweller

Historical Examples of cliff dweller

  • The designs are similar to those found on cliff-dweller pottery.

  • In the West this swallow is wholly a cliff-dweller, but it has learned to modify its home in different localities.

    Bird Neighbors

    Neltje Blanchan

  • A square figure with interior parallel squares extending to the center is also found, as elsewhere, in cliff-dweller pictography.

  • I believe I've neglected to say that there is a dimple in my chin, and Uncle Lancelot's spirit is a cliff-dweller living there.

    Amazing Grace

    Kate Trimble Sharber

  • The cliff-dweller country supports a scant vegetation—a few cottonwood in the washes, a few cedars on the mesas.