Definition of dormitory in English:



  • 1A large bedroom for a number of people in a school or institution.

    ‘he visited the boarders in their dormitory’
    • ‘Room rates are from $4 for dormitory accommodation to $19 for en-suite double room with fan.’
    • ‘Because of this, many children live in the dormitory of their school during the week.’
    • ‘In 1879 another wing was added to the school with extra dormitories and classrooms.’
    • ‘Priests were streaming out of rooms everywhere, many chambers obviously serving as dormitories.’
    • ‘Before mass started, the First Lady toured the school and saw her former class room and the dormitory where she used to sleep.’
    • ‘We wanted to build a dormitory on the back of our house because there were so many kids.’
    • ‘I'm nothing but what a child becomes when he's educated at military school, lives in dormitories all his life, and has what amounts to dozens of fathers without a single mother to call his own.’
    • ‘I ran up to the school dormitory, and I called the nun sleeping there and told her to get the girls up.’
    • ‘The prison now houses category ‘C’ prisoners in its cells and dormitories.’
    • ‘The girls who usually shared the dormitory with me were at a late dinner with some of their friends.’
    • ‘The centre can supposedly accommodate up to 100 women and dependent children in what are overcrowded communal dormitories.’
    • ‘Inmates sleep in either bedrooms or dormitories and there is no lock down at night.’
    • ‘Down the years the latter used it as an agricultural exhibition hall, a school dormitory and a hospital ward.’
    • ‘A tense atmosphere permeated the school's airy corridor, the classroom, and dormitories.’
    • ‘Local youth hostels too provide bed and breakfast for £14 or more, depending on the choice of a dormitory or a room.’
    • ‘The others were dormitories when the school was in session.’
    • ‘‘I refused to talk to him on the phone, then he spoke to my classmates who shared the dormitory with me,’ she said.’
    • ‘Four film crews followed them as they were put through their paces in the austere classrooms and spartan dormitories by real teachers.’
    • ‘Families of up to five are made to share one room, while single men live in dormitories.’
    • ‘The great hall was divided into three parts, with one outside aisle used as a dormitory, another for schooling and eating and the centre aisle given over to a workroom.’
    1. 1.1North American A university or college hall of residence or hostel.
      • ‘Players hang out together and reside in college campus dormitories.’
      • ‘The university is proposing to build a new dormitory.’
      • ‘Determinedly, I wiped them away and began walking towards the girls' dormitories.’
      • ‘Two weeks later I was living in a dormitory at the University, dating fraternity boys and trying to figure out why I hated it so much.’
      • ‘Similar measures were taken at the student dormitories of two universities and a construction site.’
      • ‘The dormitory housed over 130 students, but was designed to hold half that number.’
      • ‘They're generally the size of the refrigerator used in college dormitory rooms or hotel rooms.’
      • ‘The main school was two times the size of the student dormitory.’
      • ‘Apart from several hostels offering dormitory accommodation there are many so called ' bed and breakfast ' hotels.’
      • ‘The three dormitories house 216 students, and a fourth building has common areas and recreational facilities.’
      • ‘Participants were recruited in the libraries and dormitories of a major university in Hong Kong in 1999.’
      • ‘At first glance the office resembles nothing so much as a college dormitory room.’
      • ‘Reducing environmental noise while one is trying to sleep can be particularly challenging - especially in university dormitories.’
      • ‘The campers are staying in the university dormitory, and have most of their meals on campus.’
      • ‘People entering the City see the new high-rise science building, the new dormitories, the new University Center, and the new library and know that they are first class.’
      • ‘The college boasts two new dormitories and a fairly new recreation center, which features an indoor track.’
      • ‘She would have to sneak over to the boys' dormitory without getting caught.’
      • ‘A new dormitory building was designed to embrace the natural setting.’
    2. 1.2British [usually as modifier]A small town or suburb providing a residential area for those who work in a nearby city.
      ‘a dormitory town’
      • ‘The shires surrounding it should never have been allowed to become dormitory suburbs.’
      • ‘House prices in Dublin have spiralled beyond the reach of most workers, forcing the thousands attracted home by the boom to set up home in dormitory towns 40 or 50 miles from where they work.’
      • ‘Her letter calls for development to prevent dormitory towns and villages, promote affordable housing and protect tourist attractions.’
      • ‘Couples with families might see more benefit in suburbs, or dormitory towns.’
      • ‘All our small towns would be turned into dormitory towns of Dublin.’
      • ‘Population has continued to increase, since much of northern Cheshire has become an overspill or dormitory area for nearby Lancashire urban centres.’
      • ‘Both involved derailments, and both brought carnage to dormitory towns close to London.’
      • ‘It is becoming a dormitory town for people with high paid jobs elsewhere.’
      • ‘Twenty years ago, it was well known as a leafy dormitory town where people aspired to raise their families and commute to work.’
      • ‘In the past we built a lot of housing but failed to turn estates and dormitory towns into lasting communities.’
      • ‘He said: ‘A town is no good if it is just residential because it is a dormitory town.’’
      • ‘Yet nowadays declining inner cities are disproportionately represented, at the expense of dormitory towns and rural areas.’
      • ‘The road also takes in a few rough dormitory towns and massive factory complexes.’
      • ‘I look beyond the uniformly built post war housing that lines the streets between one dormitory town and the next.’
      • ‘Dormitory suburbs dominated by residences are not sustainable in transport terms.’
      • ‘None of this makes for a thrilling contest; and the nature of the seat, a patchwork of farming areas and dormitory villages, hardly facilitates intense electioneering.’
      • ‘Many towns and villages in Kent are little more than dormitories for commuters travelling to work each day in London.’
      • ‘It is another one of those familiar dormitory towns that punctuate the south-east of England.’
      • ‘Or the fact that most young employees are turning into worker/commuters living in dormitory towns miles from the city.’
      residential, commuter, dormitory
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin dormitorium, neuter (used as a noun) of dormitorius, from dormire to sleep.