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

Contemporary Examples of homeless

Historical Examples of homeless

  • 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 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