[dawr-mi-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]

noun, plural dor·mi·to·ries.

a building, as at a college, containing a number of private or semiprivate rooms for residents, usually along with common bathroom facilities and recreation areas.
a room containing a number of beds and serving as communal sleeping quarters, as in an institution, fraternity house, or passenger ship.

Origin of dormitory

1475–85; < Latin dormītōrium bedroom, equivalent to dormī(re) to sleep + -tōrium -tory2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dormitory

bedroom, dorm

Examples from the Web for dormitory

Contemporary Examples of dormitory

Historical Examples of dormitory

  • I must own that the poor man was not welcomed by his dormitory companions.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The smooth walls were such as he might have found in his own dormitory.


    William Morrison

  • She lived in a dormitory, with a parlor for the reception of guests.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • The dormitory monitor was sitting up in bed ready for them, too.

    Follow My leader

    Talbot Baines Reed

  • Almost hopeful she followed Sister Ignatia to the dormitory.


    Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

British Dictionary definitions for dormitory


noun plural -ries

a large room, esp at a school or institution, containing several beds
US a building, esp at a college or camp, providing living and sleeping accommodation
(modifier) British denoting or relating to an area from which most of the residents commute to work (esp in the phrase dormitory suburb)
Often (for senses 1, 2) shortened to: dorm

Word Origin for dormitory

C15: from Latin dormītōrium, from dormīre to sleep
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

Word Origin and History for dormitory

mid-15c., from Latin dormitorium "sleeping place," from dormire "to sleep" (see dormant). Old English had slæpern "dormitory," with ending as in barn.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper