\ 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

Using Kolbert's language, the new study shows that many of the Earth's larger land-dwelling species will find life increasingly inhospitable. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "It Will Take Millions of Years for Evolution to Replace What We Might Lose in the Next 50," 16 Oct. 2018 Whereas some of the earlier versions of A Star Is Born have dwelt on how stars are actually created, and what makes them fade, this one is more interested in what happens between the stars themselves. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper shine in the newest version of A Star Is Born," 14 Sep. 2018 Pay enough attention to protect yourself, but only take note of it. Don't dwell on it. Billboard, "'Vivid' at 30: Living Colour Reflects on the Rough Road to Their Game-Changing Classic Debut," 3 May 2018 Returns like the nearly 12% you could have earned by investing 2015's tax refund in the S&P 500? Don't dwell on missed opportunities, and instead focus on supersizing your long-term gains. cleveland.com, "5 great ways to invest your tax refund (NerdWallet)," 27 Apr. 2018 Oddly, in a half-hour speech to his fellow leaders, Mr Conte did not dwell on his more radical proposals. The Economist, "An emergency EU summit makes little progress on migration," 24 June 2018 Instead the Canadian post-punk quartet prefers to dwell on darker subjects. Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle, "Preoccupations are ready to cast a new shadow," 10 May 2018 With a showdown against River Hill set for less than 24 hours later, Marriotts Ridge could not afford to dwell on that performance. Kyle Stackpole, Howard County Times, "Marriotts Ridge baseball rides solid pitching, clean defense to win over River Hill," 21 Apr. 2018 Yet the film doesn’t dwell on Ted’s drinking habits, treating them matter-of-factly, and Curran implies that his relationship with Mary Jo was strictly platonic. Alan Zilberman, idahostatesman, "‘Chappaquiddick’ appeases neither Kennedy fans nor its haters | Idaho Statesman," 5 Apr. 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

5 Jan 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

: 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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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

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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