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a. Something, especially a structure, that provides cover or protection, as from the weather: a shelter for hikers.
b. An institution providing temporary housing and sometimes counseling, as for the homeless, runaways, or victims of domestic violence.
c. An establishment that cares for unwanted or stray animals and tries to find owners for them.
2. The state of being covered or protected: The fox found shelter in a cave.
v. shel·tered, shel·ter·ing, shel·ters
1. To provide cover or protection for: trees that sheltered the cows; agents who sheltered the spies.
2. To invest (income) to protect it from taxation.
To take cover; find refuge: We sheltered under the store's awning during the storm.

[Perhaps from Middle English sheltron, tight battle formation, from Old English scildtruma : scield, shield; see shield + truma, troop; see deru- in Indo-European roots.]

shel′ter·er n.
shel′ter·less adj.
Synonyms: shelter, cover, retreat, refuge, asylum, sanctuary
These nouns refer to places affording protection, as from danger, or to the state of being protected. Shelter usually implies a covered or enclosed area that protects temporarily, as from injury or attack: built a shelter out of pine and hemlock boughs. Cover suggests something that conceals: traveled under cover of darkness. Retreat applies chiefly to a secluded place to which one retires for meditation, peace, or privacy: a rural cabin that served as a weekend retreat. Refuge suggests a place of escape from pursuit or from difficulties that beset one: "The great advantage of a hotel is that it's a refuge from home life" (George Bernard Shaw).
Asylum adds to refuge the idea of legal protection or of immunity from arrest: Were the dissidents able to find asylum in another country? Sanctuary denotes a sacred or inviolable place of refuge: political refugees finding sanctuary in a monastery.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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To be shelterless and alone in the open country, hearing the wind moan and watching for day through the whole long weary night; to listen to the falling rain, and crouch for warmth beneath the lee of some old barn or rick, or in the hollow of a tree; are dismal things--but not so dismal as the wandering up and down where shelter is, and beds and sleepers are by thousands; a houseless rejected creature.
How matters were finally settled I do not know, but we found ourselves roofless, shelterless, and without a copper.
"What will he say when, instead of a pair of plump turtle doves, billing and cooing in a bower of roses, he finds a single lean cormorant, standing mateless and shelterless on poverty's bleak cliff?
I thought of the convict out upon the bleak, cold, shelterless moor.
Shelterless fragments of straw and paper got up revolving storms there, when the main street was at peace; and the water- cart, as if it were drunk or short-sighted, came blundering and jolting round it, making it muddy when all else was clean.
The PM's Housing Programme to construct five million houses for the shelterless people of the country in five years is yet another initiative meant to improve the lot of the common man.
They argue that demolition of their houses would render them shelterless as they did not have any alternative place to live.
The Special Assistant said the present government cares for the deprived segments of the society and has also established Panah Gahs for the shelterless people.
KARACHI -- Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that the shelterless schools having 40 enrolments should be shifted to a nearby government school while the school which has less than 40 students cannot be termed as shelterless school, therefore such schools may be deleted from the list of the shelterless schools.
The Minister said that AJK is also being given preference in the gigantic project of construction of five million houses for the shelterless in the country.He said the federal government is also allocating two billion rupees as special package to improve health and education facilities for the people across Azad Kashmir.
Our government has provided shelter to the shelterless as Almighty Allah has directed to show benevolence.
She said that she feels comfort in her heart while meeting with shelterless and destitute people adding these people are the real assets of our nation.