American English

Definition of shelter noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[uncountable] the fact of having a place to live or stay, considered as a basic human need Human beings need food, clothing, and shelter.
  2. 2[uncountable] shelter (from something) protection from rain, danger, or attack to take shelter from the storm The fox was running for the shelter of the trees. People were desperately seeking shelter from the gunfire.
  3. 3[countable] (often in compounds) a structure built to give protection, especially from the weather or from attack They built a rough shelter from old pieces of wood. an air-raid shelter see also bus shelter
  4. 4[countable] a building, usually owned by a charity, that provides a place to stay for people without a home, or protection for people or animals who have been badly treated a night shelter for the homeless an animal shelter a women's shelter
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: shelter