Etymology
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homestead (n.)

Old English hamstede "home, town, village," from home (n.) + stead (q.v.). In U.S. usage, "a lot of land adequate for the maintenance of a family" (1690s), defined by the Homestead Act of 1862 as 160 acres. Similar formation in Dutch heemstede, Danish hjemsted.

homestead (v.)

1872, American English, from homestead (n.). Homesteader also is from 1872.

updated on August 08, 2015

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Definitions of homestead from WordNet
1
homestead (n.)
the home and adjacent grounds occupied by a family;
homestead (n.)
land acquired from the United States public lands by filing a record and living on and cultivating it under the homestead law;
homestead (n.)
dwelling that is usually a farmhouse and adjoining land;
2
homestead (v.)
settle land given by the government and occupy it as a homestead;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.