Word + Quiz: yurt

Word + Quiz: yurt

Note: Our Sixth Annual 15-Second Vocabulary Video Challenge is underway. It will run until Feb. 18.

: a circular domed dwelling that is portable and self-supporting; originally used by nomadic Mongol and Turkic people of Central Asia but now used as inexpensive alternative or temporary housing


The word yurt has appeared in 19 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Feb. 2 in “A Room (or a Ryokan, Yurt or R.V.) With a View” by Stephanie Rosenbloom:

Airbnb’s booking data for the beginning of this year suggests that more travelers are interested in spending their vacations in what the short-term rental site calls “nontraditional” spaces, particularly those that allow travelers to be or feel closer to nature. Bookings for nature lodges and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) have skyrocketed since last year. Reservations for yurts and recreational vehicles (R.V.s) have also spiked.

These are hardly new or nontraditional forms of shelter. The ryokan is centuries old. Yurts have been used by nomads for decades. Yet it seems interest in such lodgings has prompted more places to not only offer them, but reimagine them, too. The latest iterations have modern comforts and deluxe trappings even as they aim to retain some of the minimalism and spirit of their predecessors.