an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
a federal program to improve deteriorating urban areas by offering abandoned or foreclosed houses to persons who agree to repair them and live in them for a specified number of years.
Also called homesteading program, urban homesteading.

1890–95, for earlier sense “homestead”; homestead + -ing1 Unabridged


[hohm-sted, -stid]
a dwelling with its land and buildings, occupied by the owner as a home and exempted by a homestead law from seizure or sale for debt.
any dwelling with its land and buildings where a family makes its home.
a tract of land acquired under the Homestead Act.
a house in an urban area acquired under a homesteading program.
verb (used with object)
to acquire or settle on (land) as a homestead: Pioneers homesteaded the valley.
verb (used without object)
to acquire or settle on a homestead: They homesteaded many years ago.

before 1000; Old English hāmstede (not found in ME). See home, stead Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
homestead (ˈhəʊmˌstɛd, -stɪd)
1.  a house or estate and the adjoining land, buildings, etc, esp a farm
2.  (in the US) a house and adjoining land designated by the owner as his fixed residence and exempt under the homestead laws from seizure and forced sale for debts
3.  (in western Canada) a piece of land, usually 160 acres, granted to a settler by the federal government
4.  (Austral), (NZ) the owner's or manager's residence on a sheep or cattle station; in New Zealand the term includes all outbuildings

homesteading (ˈhəʊmˌstɛdɪŋ)
a.  a scheme whereby council tenants are enabled to buy derelict property from the council and renovate it with the aid of Government grants
 b.  (as modifier): a homesteading scheme

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hamstede "home, town, village," from home + stead (q.v.). In U.S. usage, "a lot of land adequate for the maintenance of a family" (1693), defined by the Homestead Act of 1862 as 160 acres. Hence, the verb, first recorded 1872. Homesteader also is from 1872.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Jeff was worried about homesteading his house in case he lost a breach-of-contract suit.
But that duality of spirit is the nature of homesteading.
It is certainly not a neighborhood known for its urban homesteading.
They were busy homesteading, starting farms where the magnificent forests had been.
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