dow·​el | \ ˈdau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce dowel (audio) \

Definition of dowel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a pin fitting into a hole in an abutting piece to prevent motion or slipping also : a round rod or stick used especially for cutting up into dowels
2 : a piece of wood driven into a wall so that other pieces can be nailed to it


dowelled also doweled; dowelling also doweling

Definition of dowel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to fasten by or furnish with dowels

Examples of dowel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The striker is a snakewood dowel with an Afeliia burl top. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "The 16 Most Awesome Turkey And Duck Calls You’ve Ever Seen," 19 Feb. 2020 The gun on the front of the helicopter, which is supposed to be a 20mm cannon capable of firing 4,000 rounds per minute, was simply a set of wooden dowels on the real version of the helicopter. Peter Opaskar, Ars Technica, "Forget Top Gun: Maverick—let’s settle Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf once and for all," 10 Jan. 2020 With mass timber buildings, wooden layers are laminated together, using nails, dowels or glue. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wood as strong as steel: Timber frame apartment building in Walker's Point to be completed next spring," 11 Dec. 2019 Mothers and daughters tie white netting onto long, thin dowels that stretch from the porch into the house. Jessica Wapner, Quartz, "Vietnamese women are hit harder by climate change—but they’re starting to fight back," 1 Dec. 2019 Starting at around $50 per drawer, Rev-a-Shelf offers kits that include a wooden pegboard base (which can be cut to size) and moveable dowels that hold your items in place. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Why You Should Be Storing Your Plates in Drawers, Not Cabinets," 26 Sep. 2019 Theoretically, the movement of the copper dowels can be driven by spiritual activity. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Did she or didn’t she? On the bloody trail of Lizzie Borden in Fall River, Mass.," 20 Oct. 2019 Let the cake cool for 20 minutes, then use a 1/2-inch-wide wooden dowel or handle end of a wooden spoon to gently poke holes three-quarters of the way down the cake and spaced about 1 inch apart. Los Angeles Times, "Cover your cake in candy bars and whipped cream for the best frosting," 12 Sep. 2019 Rods, formerly called Impel Rods, are pure borate and look like pieces of clear glass dowels, while Cobra Rods also contain copper, which the manufacturer says boosts their ability to fight rot. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, "Two enemies of outdoor wooden sculptures: Rain and sun," 24 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The great room, which features tongue-and-groove, doweled rafters above matching Koa floors, provides plenty of room to entertain, but the downstairs game room is where the real fun happens. Liv Sotheby's International Realty, The Denver Post, "A timeless luxury, 375 Mill Creek Circle is Vail’s premier ski-in/ski-out property," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dowel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dowel


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1713, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dowel


Middle English dowle; akin to Old High German tubili plug, Late Greek typhos wedge

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Time Traveler for dowel

Time Traveler

The first known use of dowel was in the 14th century

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Statistics for dowel

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dowel


How to pronounce dowel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dowel

: a pin or peg that is used for joining together two pieces of wood, metal, plastic, etc.


dow·​el | \ ˈdau̇-əl How to pronounce dowel (audio) \

Kids Definition of dowel

: a pin or peg used for fastening together two pieces of wood

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More from Merriam-Webster on dowel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dowel

Spanish Central: Translation of dowel

Nglish: Translation of dowel for Spanish Speakers

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