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[hohm-sted-ing] /ˈhoʊmˌstɛd ɪŋ/
an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
Also called homesteading program, urban homesteading. 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.
Origin of homesteading
1890-95, for earlier sense “homestead”; homestead + -ing1


[hohm-sted, -stid] /ˈhoʊm stɛd, -stɪd/
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for homesteading
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But in many instances they brought landseekers with them who legally filed contests and homesteading rights over the settler.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • Nothing strikes my fancy so much as homesteading—which I think you meant.

    The Homesteader Oscar Micheaux
  • Don't try to keep him at home if homesteading looks good to him.

  • By homesteading, or purchasing from railway or land companies.

  • “At least as comfortable as one would wish, homesteading for one night,” said Priscilla.

    Virginia of Elk Creek Valley Mary Ellen Chase
  • But homesteading failed to supply more than their immediate needs.

    Partners of Chance Henry Herbert Knibbs
  • We want to see how it will really seem to be homesteading all alone.

    Virginia of Elk Creek Valley Mary Ellen Chase
  • They are all Eastern women, all homesteading; but they never can save money enough to go back East.

    The American Country Girl Martha Foote Crow
British Dictionary definitions for homesteading


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


/ˈhəʊmˌstɛd; -stɪd/
a house or estate and the adjoining land, buildings, etc, esp a farm
(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
(in western Canada) a piece of land, usually 160 acres, granted to a settler by the federal government
(Austral & NZ) the owner's or manager's residence on a sheep or cattle station; in New Zealand the term includes all outbuildings
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
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Word Origin and History for homesteading



Old English hamstede "home, town, village," from home (n.) + stead (q.v.). In U.S. usage, "a lot of land adequate for the maintenance of a family" (1690s), 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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