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Equivalent to home +‎ stead. Cognate to German Heimstatt, Dutch heemstede and Swedish hemstad.



English Wikipedia has an article on:

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 Chaucer”, in Fables, Ancient and Modern[1]], London: Jacob Tonson, page 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[2], London: B. White & Son, published 1789, Letter 43 to Daines Barrington, page 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, chapter 1, in Silas Marner[3], Part 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 []
    1. (Canada, US) A parcel of land in the interior of North America, usually 160 acres, that was distributed to settlers from Europe or eastern North America under the Dominion Lands Act of 1870 in Canada or the Homestead Act of 1862 in the United States.
      Synonyms: farmstead, quarter section
      Hypernyms: residence, messuage
      • 1913, Willa Cather, chapter 2, in O Pioneers![4], Part 1:
        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, “To the never-dying Memory of the Noble Lord Hastings”, in Richard Brome, editor, Lachrymæ Musarum[5], London, page 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.
    • c. 1620s,, Joseph Hall, The Contemplations upon the History of the New Testament[6], London, published 1661, page 30:
      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[7], volume 2, London: Longman and Rees, Book 2, Section 4, page 38:
      The PETSCHENEGRANS, as they are called in the russian and polish year-books, name themselves Kangar or Kangli, and were a powerful nomadic nation, which we can trace back to a homestead on the rivers Volga and Ural.



homestead (third-person singular simple present homesteads, present participle homesteading, simple past and past participle homesteaded)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To acquire or settle on land as a homestead.
    • 1952, John Steinbeck, chapter 2, in East of Eden[8]:
      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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