\ˈdwel \
dwelled\ ˈdweld , ˈdwelt \ or dwelt\ ˈdwelt \; dwelling

Definition of dwell 

intransitive verb

1 : to remain for a time dwell in the hallway

2a : to live as a resident the town in which he dwelled for eight years the dwelling place of the gods

b : exist, lie where the heart of the matter dwells

3a : to keep the attention directed used with on or upon tried not to dwell on my fears

b : to speak or write insistently used with on or upon reporters dwelling on the recent scandal

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Other Words from dwell

dweller \ ˈdwe-​lər \ noun

Examples of dwell in a Sentence

a cave where bats dwell dwelling with a farm family as an exchange student in France

Recent Examples on the Web

No other soccer nation dwells on decades of failure quite like the English. Ronald Blum, BostonGlobe.com, "England ready to change the tune of its soccer history," 11 July 2018 The President dwelled on Kavanaugh’s Ivy League credentials, which were a focus of Trump’s during the selection process, and the fact that, like Gorsuch, Kavanaugh had also clerked for Justice Kennedy. Brian Bennett, Time, "How President Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Change the U.S.," 10 July 2018 But Perry hasn’t dwelled on other dreams, such as getting married or starting a family. Deanese Williams-harris, chicagotribune.com, "People are using social media to improve their odds of finding organ donors: 'Doing it can save my life'," 6 July 2018 Kristen Leanne dwells on the fact that some people, especially in the service industry, can't have colorful hair because of their jobs. Devon Abelman, Allure, "How Instagram Sparked the Indie Hair-Color Brand Revolution," 27 June 2018 Across decades and genres, his writing for the magazine dwelled on the degradation of beauty and happiness. Annika Neklason, The Atlantic, "What Donald Hall Understood About Death," 26 June 2018 Rather than dwell on your intimidation, draw inspiration from your smart, talented colleagues. Michelle Goodman, The Seattle Times, "New on the job? How to get over imposter syndrome," 25 June 2018 Not all the poems dwell on the bleakness of their journeys north and confinement since. CBS News, "Some young immigrants at detention center cope through poetry," 22 June 2018 The new construction will consist of seven total dwelling units, while the driveway will have 10 parking spaces. Nick Vadala, Philly.com, "Opera singer Mario Lanza's childhood home demolished in South Philly," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dwell.' 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 dwell

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dwell

Middle English, from Old English dwellan to go astray, hinder; akin to Old High German twellen to tarry

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Dictionary Entries near dwell






dwelling house

dwelling place

Statistics for dwell

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dwell

The first known use of dwell was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for dwell



English Language Learners Definition of dwell

: to live in a particular place


\ˈdwel \
dwelt\ ˈdwelt \ or dwelled\ ˈdweld \; dwelling

Kids Definition of dwell

1 : to live in a place : reside

2 : to keep the attention directed Try not to dwell on your mistakes.

Other Words from dwell

dweller noun cave dwellers

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Comments on dwell

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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