Meaning of SHELTER in English


I. shel ‧ ter 1 W3 /ˈʃeltə $ -ər/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Origin: Perhaps from sheltron 'group of fighting soldiers protected by shields' (11-16 centuries) , from Old English scieldtruma , from scield 'shield' + truma 'group of soldiers' ]

1 . [uncountable] a place to live, considered as one of the basic needs of life:

They are in need of food and shelter.

2 . [uncountable] protection from danger or from wind, rain, hot sun etc

shelter of

We reached the shelter of the caves.

in/into/under etc the shelter of something

They were standing under the shelter of a huge tree.

The men took shelter in a bombed-out farmhouse.

All around me, people were running for shelter.

shelter from

An old hut gave shelter from the storm.

3 . [countable] a building where people or animals that have nowhere to live or that are in danger can stay and receive help

shelter for

a shelter for battered women

a homeless shelter (=for people who have no homes)

an animal shelter

4 . [countable] a building or an area with a roof over it that protects you from the weather or from danger

air-raid/bomb/fall-out shelter (=a place to keep people safe from bombs dropped by planes)

bus shelter British English (=a small structure with a roof where you wait for a bus)

⇨ ↑ tax shelter

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ take shelter (=go into a place where you are protected from something)

When it started raining, they took shelter in a cave.

▪ find shelter

He slept wherever he could find shelter.

▪ seek shelter formal (=try to find shelter)

They sought shelter under the trees.

▪ run for shelter

The residents were running for shelter from the bombing.

▪ give/provide shelter

The trees gave shelter from the wind.

II. shelter 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . [transitive] to provide a place where someone or something is protected, especially from the weather or from danger:

Collins was arrested for sheltering enemy soldiers.

shelter somebody/something from somebody/something

Plant herbs next to a wall to shelter them from the wind.

2 . [intransitive] to stay in or under a place where you are protected from the weather or from danger

shelter from

We sat in the shade, sheltering from the sun.

• • •


▪ protect to keep someone or something safe from harm, damage, or illness:

Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.


The government wants to protect the environment.


Eating healthily helps to protect against many diseases.

▪ give/offer/provide protection to protect someone from something harmful:

Wearing a hat offers some protection from the sun.


The drug can give protection against cancer.


The law provides no protection.

▪ guard to protect a person, place, or object by staying near them and watching them:

Police officers guarded the entrance to the building.


He is guarded by armed men.

▪ save to protect someone or something when they are in danger of being harmed or destroyed:

Local people are fighting to save the theatre from demolition.


Emergency aid could save millions of people who are threatened with starvation.

▪ preserve to keep something, especially buildings or the environment, from being harmed, destroyed, or changed too much:

The organization works to preserve forests.


There is little money for preserving historic buildings.

▪ safeguard to protect something important, such as people’s rights, interests, jobs, health etc:

The deal will safeguard 200 jobs at the factory.


Laws should do more to safeguard the rights of victims.

▪ shield to put something in front of something else to protect it. Also used to talk about protecting people from unpleasant situations:

He lifted his hand to shield his eyes from the light.


They thought the public should be shielded from the truth.

▪ shelter to provide a place where someone or something is protected from the weather or from danger:

The village is sheltered by a belt of trees.


His family had sheltered Jews during the war.

▪ harbour British English , harbor American English to help and protect someone who has done something illegal, and prevent the police from finding them:

He is accused of harbouring suspected terrorists.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.