• (GA) IPA: /ˈhoʊmˌstɛd/

homestead (plural homesteads)

  1. A house together with surrounding land and buildings, especially on a farm; the property comprising these.
    • 1700, John Dryden, “The Cock and the Fox: or, The Tale of the Nun’s Priest, from Geoffrey Chaucer” in Fables, Ancient and Modern, London: Jacob Tonson, p. 225,
      A Yard she had with Pales enclos’d about,
      Some high, some low, and a dry Ditch without.
      Within this Homestead, liv’d without a Peer,
      For crowing loud, the noble Chanticleer:
    • 1778, Gilbert White, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, London: B. White & Son, 1789, Letter 43 to Daines Barrington, p. 242,
      […] no sooner has a hen disburdened herself, than she rushes forth with a clamorous kind of joy, which the cock and the rest of his mistresses immediately adopt. The tumult is not confined to the family concerned, but catches from yard to yard, and spreads to every homestead within hearing, till at last the whole village is in an uproar.
    • 1861, George Eliot, Silas Marner, Part 1, Chapter 1,
      It was an important-looking village, with a fine old church and large churchyard in the heart of it, and two or three large brick-and-stone homesteads, with well-walled orchards and ornamental weathercocks, standing close upon the road […]
    • 1913, Willa Cather, O Pioneers! Part 1, Chapter 2,
      He owned exactly six hundred and forty acres of what stretched outside his door; his own original homestead and timber claim, making three hundred and twenty acres, and the half-section adjoining, the homestead of a younger brother who had given up the fight, gone back to Chicago to work in a fancy bakery […]
  2. The place that is one's home.
    • 1649, Thomas Bancroft (poet), “To the never-dying Memory of the Noble Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of Huntingdon” in Richard Brome (ed.), Lachrymæ Musarum, London, p. 54,
      Grief from yeer to yeer
      Rents my poor Heart, and makes his Home-stead there:
  3. (South Africa) A cluster of several houses occupied by an extended family.
  4. (obsolete) The home or seat of a family; place of origin.
    • circa 1620s Joseph Hall (bishop), The Contemplations upon the History of the New Testament, London, 1661, pp. 30-31,
      Where then wast thou tempted, O Blessed Jesu? or whither wentest thou to meet with our great Adversary? I do not see thee led into the marketplace, or any other part of the City, or thy home-stead of Nazareth, but into the vast Wilderness, the habitation of beasts;
    • 1799, William Tooke, View of the Russian Empire during the Reign of Catharine the Second, and to the Close of the Present Century, London: Longman and Rees, Volume 2, Book 2, Section 4, pp. 38-39,
      The Pechenegs, as they are called in the russian and polish year-books, name themselves Kankalis, and were a powerful nomadic nation, which we can trace back to a homestead on the rivers Volga and Ural.
  • Italian: abitazione isolata, casa isolata
  • Spanish: casal, caserío
Translations Verb

homestead (homesteads, present participle homesteading; past and past participle homesteaded)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To acquire or settle on land as a homestead.
    • 1952, John Steinbeck, East of Eden (novel), Chapter 2,
      When Samuel and Liza came to the Salinas Valley all the level land was taken, the rich bottoms, the little fertile creases in the hills, the forests, but there was still marginal land to be homesteaded, and in the barren hills, to the east of what is now King City, Samuel Hamilton homesteaded.

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