From the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, volume XX:
Yurt - A semi-subterranean dwelling or hut of the natives of northern and central Asia, usually formed of timber covered with earth or turf. Also, a circular skin- or felt-covered tent, with collapsible frame, used by the nomadic peoples of Siberia and Central Asia.
'Yurt' is derived from the Russian word 'yurta,' the French word 'yourte,' and the German word 'jurte.'
First known use of the word is found in Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, 1784: "Natcheekin is a very inconsiderable 'ostrog,' having only one log-house, the residence of the Toion; five balagans, and one jourt."
Subsequent uses include one from a Publishers Weekly ad in 1974: "Build a yurt. The round house you can make...It's a portable dwelling for people and pets...Inspired by the ancient Mongolian felt-and-hide structures, the yurt is the newest thing in housing."