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From Middle English *homles, *hamles, from Old English hāmlēas (homeless), equivalent to home +‎ -less. Cognate with Dutch heemloos, Danish hjemløs (homeless), Swedish hemlös (homeless). Compare also German heimatlos (homeless), Icelandic heimilislaus (homeless), West Frisian dakleas (homeless, literally having no roof, roofless).


  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈhoʊmlɪs/, /ˈhoʊmləs/
  • (file)


homeless (not comparable)

  1. Lacking a permanent place of residence.
    Whenever I pass the park, I see the homeless people sleeping on the benches.
    • 1995 [1982], Jean-Luc Domenach, “The First Leftist Excesses and Their Consequences (Summer 1955-Winter 1956)”, in A M Berrett, transl., The Origins of the Great Leap Forward: The Case of One Chinese Province [Aux origines du Grand Bond en avant]‎[1], Westview Press, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 44:
      Xinyang special region received 1,200-1,400 mm of rain between June and August 1956: 280,000 homes were destroyed and 3.2 million peasants (out of a total of almost 6 million) were left homeless. In the most affected county in the special region and the province, Huaibin, 60 percent of the total surface area was covered by floods and 230,000 out of 440,000 inhabitants left homeless; grain production fell by 66 percent in 1956 and the authorities had to send large amounts of relief.
    • 2004, George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?[2], New York: Hyperion Books, →ISBN, →OCLC, →OL, page 55:
      You know what you never see? A really good-looking homeless couple.
    • 2022 November 2, Paul Bigland, “New trains, old trains, and splendid scenery”, in RAIL, number 969, page 57:
      The massive arches of the retaining walls have become tent city for the many homeless people in the area.
  2. (of places) Containing no place that might be called home.

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  • Japanese: ホームレス (hōmuresu)


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Unadapted borrowing from English homeless.


homeless m (plural homeless)

  1. homeless