- protected or shielded from storms, missiles, etc., by a wall, roof, barrier, or the like.
- protected from the troubles, annoyances, sordidness, etc., encountered in competitive situations: a sheltered life.
- (of a business or industry) enjoying noncompetitive conditions, as because of a protective tariff.
- of or relating to employment or housing, especially for persons with disabilities, in a noncompetitive, supervised environment.
- something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal, or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions, etc.; refuge.
- the protection or refuge afforded by such a thing: He took shelter in a nearby barn.
- protection from blame, incrimination, etc.
- a dwelling place or home considered as a refuge from the elements: Everyone’s basic needs are food, clothing, and shelter.
- a building serving as a temporary refuge or residence for homeless persons, abandoned animals, etc.
- Finance. tax shelter.
verb (used with object)
- to be a shelter for; afford shelter to: The old barn sheltered him from the rain.
- to provide with a shelter; place under cover.
- to protect, as by shelter; take under one’s protection: Parents should not try to shelter their children from normal childhood disappointments.
- Finance. to invest (money) in a tax shelter.
verb (used without object)
- to take shelter; find a refuge: He sheltered in a barn.
- Finance. to invest money in a tax shelterd.
- protected from wind or weathera sheltered garden
- protected from outside influencesa sheltered upbringing
- (of buildings) specially designed to provide a safe environment for the elderly, handicapped, or disabledsheltered workshops for the blind See also sheltered housing
- something that provides cover or protection, as from weather or danger; place of refuge
- the protection afforded by such a cover; refuge
- the state of being sheltered
- (tr) to provide with or protect by a shelter
- (intr) to take cover, as from rain; find refuge
- (tr) to act as a shelter for; take under one’s protection
adj.“screened, protected,” 1590s, past participle adjective from shelter (v.). Meaning “protected from the usual hardships of life” is from 1888. Related: Shelteredness. n.1580s, “structure affording protection,” possibly an alteration of Middle English sheltron, sheldtrume “roof or wall formed by locked shields,” from Old English scyldtruma, from scield “shield” (see shield (n.)) + truma “troop,” related to Old English trum “firm, strong” (see trim). If so, the original notion is of a compact body of men protected by interlocking shields. OED finds this “untenable” and proposed derivation from shield + -ture. Figurative sense is recorded from 1580s; meaning “temporary lodging for homeless poor” is first recorded 1890 in Salvation Army jargon; sense of “temporary home for animals” is from 1971. Related: Shelterless. v.1580s, “to screen, protect,” from shelter (n.); in the income investment sense, from 1955. Meaning “to take shelter” is from c.1600. Related: Sheltered; sheltering.