Meaning of “shelter” in the English Dictionary

"shelter" in British English

See all translations

shelternoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈʃel.tər/ us /ˈʃel.t̬ɚ/

B2 (a building designed to give) protection from bad weather, danger, or attack:

an air-raid shelter
They opened a shelter to provide temporary housing for the city's homeless.
The trees gave/provided some shelter from the rain.
find/take shelter

B2 to protect yourself from bad weather, danger, or attack:

We took shelter for the night in an abandoned house.

More examples

  • There was no shelter from the merciless heat.
  • The bomb shelter has concrete walls that are three metres thick.
  • Spare a thought for all those without shelter on a cold night like this.
  • An upturned boat on the beach provided shelter.
  • When the air raid siren went off people ran to their shelters.


uk /ˈʃel.tər/ us /ˈʃel.t̬ɚ/

(Definition of “shelter” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"shelter" in American English

See all translations

shelternoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈʃel·tər/

something that gives protection, such as a building or tent, or the protection provided:

[ C ] We took the stray dog to an animal shelter.
[ U ] The wall gave us some shelter from the wind.
[ U ] The program offers shelter to runaway teens.

shelterverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈʃel·tər/

to protect yourself, or another person or thing, from bad weather, danger, or attack:

[ T ] The city feeds, clothes, and shelters the orphans.
[ I ] We were caught in a thunderstorm and sheltered in a cave.

(Definition of “shelter” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"shelter" in Business English

See all translations

shelterverb [ T ]

uk /ˈʃeltər/ us TAX

US if you shelter income, you find a legal way to avoid paying tax on it:

shelter savings/assets
shelter sth from sb/sth The company needs to act now to shelter its assets from the taxman.

shelternoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈʃeltər/ us TAX

a way to legally avoid paying tax:

shelter from sth These investments continue to offer shelter from capital gains tax.

See also

(Definition of “shelter” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)