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

Participants adorn dowels, branches, and twigs with fabrics, trims, wire, ribbons, clay, seashells and a wide variety of embellishments symbolizing the healing process. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brother Benno’s puts on ‘Sip and Paint’ fundraiser," 19 June 2019 Plastic Easter eggs Gold leaf marker Hot glue gun (and wooden dowel if necessary) Hexagon tile Potting soil Succulents Remove the top half of a plastic Easter egg and discard or save for another project. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "These Mini Succulent Planters Are Actually Made From Plastic Easter Eggs," 31 Mar. 2017 Insert the short wooden dowels (#101367) into the side panel, then insert the side panel into the backboard. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know Before Building an IKEA Malm Bed Frame," 12 Sep. 2018 One basic execution is to bore a pair of holes into wall studs, insert metal bars or wood dowels into the framing and slip a solid wood shelf over the supports. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build Floating Shelves (With Plans!)," 16 Mar. 2015 Kitty Wand Assorted scraps of felt and metallic paper become a captivating cat prop when affixed to a pretty dowel. Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, "5 Pet Toys You Can Make Yourself," 14 Aug. 2014 Thread the two together, and glue the minute hand to the dowel and the hour hand to the PVC. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "4 Great Halloween Costumes From the PM Archives," 11 Oct. 2018 If using wooden dowels, cover the tip in hot glue and dip into glitter. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "How to Make a Mason Jar Football Float for Game Day," 1 Feb. 2017 For two years, Mcneill has been visiting the hand center to grasp fat wooden dowels, lift weights, pinch clips. Meredith Cohn, Washington Post, "After being shot, Baltimore police officer spends four years recovering in hope of returning to duty," 7 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near dowel






dowel jig

do well

Statistics for dowel

Last Updated

1 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dowel

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

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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

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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

Comments on dowel

What made you want to look up dowel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

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