- something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal, or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions, etc.; refuge.
- the protection or refuge afforded by such a thing: He took shelter in a nearby barn.
- protection from blame, incrimination, etc.
- a dwelling place or home considered as a refuge from the elements: Everyone's basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter.
- a building serving as a temporary refuge or residence for homeless persons, abandoned animals, etc.
- Finance. tax shelter.
- to be a shelter for; afford shelter to: The old barn sheltered him from the rain.
- to provide with a shelter; place under cover.
- to protect, as by shelter; take under one's protection: Parents should not try to shelter their children from normal childhood disappointments.
- Finance. to invest (money) in a tax shelter.
- to take shelter; find a refuge: He sheltered in a barn.
- Finance. to invest money in a tax shelterd.
Origin of shelter
SynonymsSee more synonyms for shelter on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for shelter
The grim instability of shelter life is hardly a recipe for success under the best of circumstances.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside
January 3, 2015
Some of them are trying to find places where they might be able to shelter if it comes to this.Has the Kurdish Victory at Sinjar Turned the Tide of ISIS War?
December 27, 2014
They sacrifice their shelter to contain the walkers—and Judith gets her first action scene!The Walking Dead’s Midseason Finale Shocker: A Cherished Character Meets a Grisly End
December 1, 2014
After weeks or months in the line only a wound can offer him the comfort of safety, shelter, and a bed.Blood in the Sand: When James Jones Wrote a Grunt’s View of D-Day
November 15, 2014
The officers—led by a woman named Dawn Lerner—provide food and shelter at the hospital for needy people they find on the road.The Walking Dead’s ‘Slabtown’: The Real Source of Terror Isn’t Walkers, It’s Rape
November 3, 2014
For, if he could get shelter for three days, the hue and cry would subside.Way of the Lawless
If He does not mean us to keep her in the shelter of our home for the present, we do not know what He means.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
It might be an evil start to come to his door so late and claim the shelter of his roof.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Shelter, covering, bed—beyond these all is mere superfluity.The Roof of France
Bullets were flying in all directions, and there was no question of shelter.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
- something that provides cover or protection, as from weather or danger; place of refuge
- the protection afforded by such a cover; refuge
- the state of being sheltered
- (tr) to provide with or protect by a shelter
- (intr) to take cover, as from rain; find refuge
- (tr) to act as a shelter for; take under one's protection
Word Origin and History for shelter
1580s, "structure affording protection," possibly an alteration of Middle English sheltron, sheldtrume "roof or wall formed by locked shields," from Old English scyldtruma, from scield "shield" (see shield (n.)) + truma "troop," related to Old English trum "firm, strong" (see trim).
If so, the original notion is of a compact body of men protected by interlocking shields. OED finds this "untenable" and proposed derivation from shield + -ture. Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s; meaning "temporary lodging for homeless poor" is first recorded 1890 in Salvation Army jargon; sense of "temporary home for animals" is from 1971. Related: Shelterless.