From Middle English sheltron, sheldtrume (“roof or wall formed by locked shields”), from Old English scildtruma, scyldtruma (“a phalanx, company (of troops), a tortoise, a covering, shed, shelter”, literally “shield-troop”), from scyld, scield (“shield”) + truma (“a troop of soldiers”). Cognate with Scots schilthrum, schiltrum. More at shield, and trymman (“strengthen”), from trum (“strong, firm”) at trim.
shelter (plural shelters)
- A refuge, haven or other cover or protection from something.
1928, Lawrence R. Bourne, chapter 7, in Well Tackled!:
- The detective kept them in view. He made his way casually along the inside of the shelter until he reached an open scuttle close to where the two men were standing talking. Eavesdropping was not a thing Larard would have practised from choice, but there were times when, in the public interest, he had to do it, and this was one of them.
- An institution that provides temporary housing for homeless people, battered women etc.
- (transitive) To provide cover from damage or harassment; to shield; to protect.
- Those ruins sheltered once his sacred head.
- You have no convents […] in which such persons may be received and sheltered.
- (intransitive) To take cover.
- During the rainstorm, we sheltered under a tree.
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