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 Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds. Laura Daily, Star Tribune, "How to give your rental a refresh without angering your landlord," 23 Apr. 2021 Both Elliott and Lamb suggest heavy-duty Command hooks and a dowel or curtain rod to hang lightweight curtains or fabric panels over less-than-attractive windows or unsightly blinds. Washington Post, "How to give your rental a new look — without angering your landlord," 13 Apr. 2021 Custom wood dowel screens create a space that allows hotel guests to meander through and discover the various seating arrangements to nestle in and find comfort. Michael Alpiner, Forbes, "Hotel Marcel Set To Become The First Passive House Hotel In The US," 5 Apr. 2021 In rural Kent City, Mich., Billie Freeland watched her fourth-graders try to produce energy by building a water wheel out of an orange juice carton, a dowel, a Styrofoam ball and plastic spoons. Washington Post, "Project-based learning confronts students with uncertainty. Finally.," 12 Mar. 2021 When a mouse scampers across the dowel and hops onto the can to eat the peanut butter, the can spins and the mouse goes for a swim. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Our Favorite Projects for Hunting Camp," 8 Oct. 2020 With the shade lowered, the outside dowel ends fit into these holes. Scott Flickinger, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Shade for Your Pergola," 27 Feb. 2021 Pellet ice is cylindrical, with smooth sides and rough ends, as if each piece had been snapped off of a long dowel of ice. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "Pellet Ice Is the Good Ice," 27 Jan. 2021 Attach a wooden dowel or skewer to it and — boom — festive Mardi Gras craft complete. Jessica Saggio | Contributing Writer,, "Parents can keep some Mardi Gras magic alive for the kids," 24 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cut 1x2 into eight 36-inch pieces, then cut 3/8-inch dowel rods into 12-inch lengths. Chelsea Evers, Better Homes & Gardens, "Transport Your Kitchen with These Tips for Creating a Provincial Pantry," 2 Apr. 2021 Plug the holes with 3⁄8-inch dowel glued into place and trimmed flush [8]. Ted Kilcommons, Popular Mechanics, "This Modern Adirondack Chair Is a Great Woodworking Challenge," 18 July 2020 For a classic spiral design, place your finger or dowel rod in the center of the shirt and start turning clockwise until the entire shirt reaches a spiral design. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Tie-Dye Anything (and Everything) In Your Closet," 9 June 2020 Kay would have had to carefully dowel these cuts together, and then shape them into a perfectly round wheel. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "Who Invented the Wheel? And How Did They Do It?," 6 May 2020 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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for dowel



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

More from Merriam-Webster on dowel

Nglish: Translation of dowel for Spanish Speakers

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