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 Caspi only used a power tool once to drill in the dowel for the pencil’s tip. Alison Cross, Hartford Courant, 20 July 2022 Hot-glue the alternating points to the center, top with a button, and attach to a dowel. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 6 June 2022 The beech for the dowel had been dried down to six per cent. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 18 Apr. 2022 Karl Lenhardt developed an expander dowel locking system that tightened and loosened with a twist. Andrew Freeman, Outside Online, 21 May 2012 And trees don’t have to be cut down for their rings to be seen; samples can be taken from living trees with an increment borer, a long, thin instrument that extracts a dowel-like cutting without harming a tree. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 6 May 2022 No, a guy walks into a gallery, carrying a bar — a wooden dowel painted in bright stripes of color. Christina Catherine Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2022 Instead of a baseball bat, stickball players use a dowel or a broomstick to hit a rubber handball, which is smaller than a baseball. San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Feb. 2022 The ice picks — usually a large wooden dowel with a nail inserted in one end — lets an angler who’s broken through the ice to pull himself from the water. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 10 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tie the other end of the string to a wooden stick or dowel. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 July 2022 If the stem is very weak, use a stick or dowel as a splint to prevent the stem from breaking off. Tim Johnson,, 19 Mar. 2022 Cut 1x2 into eight 36-inch pieces, then cut 3/8-inch dowel rods into 12-inch lengths. Chelsea Evers, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Apr. 2021 Plug the holes with 3⁄8-inch dowel glued into place and trimmed flush [8]. Ted Kilcommons, Popular Mechanics, 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, 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, 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, 20 Dec. 2019 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dowel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dowel


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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