[ 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 formshome·less·ly, adverbhome·less·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for homeless

British Dictionary definitions for homeless


/ (ˈhəʊmlɪs) /


  1. having nowhere to live
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the homeless
Derived Formshomelessness, 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

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