Domicile Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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Domicile is an uncommon word, but it has surprising importance. The concept of domicile matters for tax and legal purposes, especially for people who move a lot or are citizens of more than one country. However, “domicile” is a valuable pronoun when you want to avoid gendered language or generic terms like “they.” 

Learning what it means and how you can use it will come in handy when speaking formally or talking with lawyers.

If you want to be as knowledgeable about living in the modern world as possible, read on! You need to know everything about the domicile definition, how to be a legal domicile, and how this works with permanent legal residence. 

What Is the Definition of Domicile? 

Domicile (ˈdɒm əˌsaɪl, ˈdɑm ‘e səl, domicile) is a legal term that refers to your permanent home. It can also mean where you live and spend most of your time or where you have a secondary residence if you own more than one home.

Many types of domiciles can impact how someone is taxed or what state they vote in, so it’s essential to understand precisely what this word means before making any decisions. 

For example, if someone wants to change their domicile from California to Florida but currently lives on an island off the coast of Maine, their request may be denied by officials because they don’t meet all requirements for changing domiciles (like being physically present in Florida).

Domicile status comes into play often when making tax returns because it affects how much money people pay and receive back each year. 

If you were to look in a thesaurus for word lists or synonyms for the word domicile, you’d likely find words including: 

  • Condominium
  • Accommodation
  • House
  • Residence
  • Quarters
  • Pad
  • Lodging
  • Abode
  • Home
  • Habitation

What Is the Etymology of Domicile? 

The word domicile comes from the Latin domicilium, which means dwelling place. The first usage of the word was around 1425. In Roman law and language, a domicile (from Latin: Domus and -cilius) was an inhabitant’s proper place of residence under Roman or European regulations. 

One’s own house or home is called by its valid name (Domus), while one’s parents’ house is called patria potestas (literally “fatherland power”).

An example of this might be referring to someone who was born in one town but has lived in another since childhood. They have moved away from their birthplace but retain their parental family home as their domicile, which they may return to when they please until their estate becomes theirs upon death, remarriage, or divorce. 

If a person could not be found within the town where they had been born, they may still be eligible for certain benefits based on their parent’s original status. 

This would happen if someone moved away before marriage and moving to another city without returning after leaving home with both parents still alive. They would receive benefits based on those criteria rather than the city they lived in at their last known address. 

This word moved through many languages over the centuries, from Old French to Middle French and Middle English. While the change of domicile over the years may be confusing, it’s another excellent example of how words change and develop over time! 

What Are the Tax Implications of Being a Domicile? 

The tax purposes and implications of being a domicile, permanent legal resident, resident, citizen, or resident alien are different. The following table summarizes the tax treatment for each category.

  • Domicile: Domiciles pay taxes on worldwide income to their respective countries. They also have to file Form 8840 with the IRS each year and attach it to their 1040 returns. If they do not have any taxable income from another country or state (and thus no need for an exemption form), they can claim “dual residency.” This means they will pay taxes in both states at their rate rather than being taxed by two separate governments at total rates on all income earned abroad and returning home, respectively.
  • Permanent Legal Resident: Individuals who have been granted permanent legal residency should note that they may be required to file federal income tax forms under certain circumstances. However, they are not required to report any activity related directly to U.S.-based financial assets such as bank accounts and stocks (although these can sometimes still impact whether you owe any duty).


With this new knowledge of the word domicile, you can now impress your friends and family with the various ways you can use it. You might also add some words to your vocabulary to upgrade your English language skills. Whether or not you are planning on taking a legal exam, knowing the definition of domicile is essential for students who want to improve their English writing skills. 

If you’re looking for a new domicile of origin, then feel free to use this information to find your domicile of choice. It can be hard to move around, but understanding your decisions’ legal language and implications can make things much easier! 

The world of communication is vast and ever-changing, but with steady efforts and the right tools, you can improve your effectiveness dramatically. Start by rethinking some of your strategies, and make sure to develop your vital areas further. Remember that practice makes perfect!


Domicile Definition & Meaning |

Domicile – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |

Domicile definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary