\ ˈdwel How to pronounce dwell (audio) \
dwelled\ ˈdweld How to pronounce dwelled (audio) , ˈdwelt \ or dwelt\ ˈdwelt How to pronounce dwelt (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce dweller (audio) \ 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

Auburn's players aren't dwelling on the results of their 28-7 loss to Georgia and 34-27 loss to UCF, but rather looking back at the process that led to those results and using it as motivation this spring. Mark Heim, AL.com, "Sonny Smith reacts to Tony Barbee's trolling of Auburn after NCAA tournament loss to Clemson," 19 Mar. 2018 That said, the White House’s trade hawks might not want to dwell on this precedent, for reasons outlined by Business Insider’s Linette Lopez: In 2002 the EU, especially, was ready to put a hurt on the US economy. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump (Finally) Declares His Trade War," 1 Mar. 2018 These aquatic critters dwell at extreme ocean deaths, making them very difficult to study, and scientists are still learning new things about them. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Scientists Identify New Species of Elusive Deep-Sea Shark," 22 Feb. 2018 Rather than dwelling on her frustration, Underwood is making a vow to embrace her body in all its iterations. Glamour, "Carrie Underwood Just Slammed the Idea of ‘Bouncing Back’ After Having a Baby," 19 Mar. 2019 Many a talking head on TV no doubt instantly reverted from dwelling on the horror of the accident to the horror of Mr. Trump’s presumptively stupid and inappropriate comments. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Planes Crash, So Does the Media," 12 Mar. 2019 What helped shake me out of that first year of grief was deciding to put my son's childhood first and trying to focus on that instead of dwelling on the fear of what was happening to me. Kara Wahlgreen, Good Housekeeping, "Life With Cancer Isn’t a Life Diminished," 19 Sep. 2018 Four decades later, that tale was still following the adventures of a forest-dwelling tribe of feral elves and their leader — Cutter, Blood of Ten Chiefs — who’s been looking to complete his hero’s journey. Jevon Phillips, latimes.com, "After 40 years, Wendy and Richard Pini finish 'Elfquest,' the 'first American manga,' and go on fanquest," 3 Apr. 2018 The Minpins was Roald Dahl’s last story for children, about a miniature tree-dwelling people threatened by the Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher who lurks below. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Shaking the Tree," 30 May 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

13 Apr 2019

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

literary + formal : to live in a particular place


\ ˈdwel How to pronounce dwell (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on dwell

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dwell

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwell

Spanish Central: Translation of dwell

Nglish: Translation of dwell for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwell for Arabic Speakers

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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