1. A house, especially a farmhouse, with adjoining buildings and land.
2. Law Property qualifying as a person's home under certain laws, such as laws providing tax abatements and exemptions, survivorship rights for spouse and children, and immunity from claims of creditors.
3. Land claimed by a settler or squatter, especially under the Homestead Act.
4. The place where one's home is.
v. home·stead·ed, home·stead·ing, home·steads
To settle and farm land, especially under the Homestead Act.
To claim and settle (land) as a homestead.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.