wallow

1 of 2

verb

wal·​low ˈwä-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce wallow (audio)
wallowed; wallowing; wallows

intransitive verb

1
: to roll oneself about in a lazy, relaxed, or ungainly manner
hogs wallowing in the mud
2
: to billow forth : surge
3
: to devote oneself entirely
especially : to take unrestrained pleasure : delight
4
a
: to become abundantly supplied : luxuriate
a family that wallows in money
b
: to indulge oneself immoderately
wallowing in self-pity
5
: to become or remain helpless
allowed them to wallow in their ignorance
wallower noun

wallow

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act or instance of wallowing
2
a
: a muddy area or one filled with dust used by animals for wallowing
b
: a depression formed by or as if by the wallowing of animals
3
: a state of degradation or degeneracy

Example Sentences

Verb elephants wallowing in the river Buffalo wallow in mud to keep away flies.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
San Diego can wallow in the bliss of swinging a wrecking ball through the Dodgers, but not the team that represents it. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Oct. 2022 Her characters wallow in dark hollows with little light, condemned to forever repeat the horrific mistakes of previous generations. Lorraine Berry, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Oct. 2022 No time to wallow in the loss to Antioch with a trip to Lakes awaiting. Steve Reaven, Chicago Tribune, 29 Sep. 2022 Understanding and feeling the connection between Lestat and Louis is not the same, mind you, as wanting to endlessly wallow in their misery, or at least Louis’ ever-growing misery. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Sep. 2022 As Frank's desire to wallow in the debauchery and squalor of his youth finds a home in new roommate Charlie, the show also benefits from having Frank around to bankroll the untold schemes and scams to come. Dennis Perkins, EW.com, 3 Sep. 2022 The suspension is sufficiently soft that a driver can just ignore speedbumps, but the 604 doesn't wallow in the corners. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 3 July 2022 Still, Uncoupled doesn't let Michael wallow for too long. Andrea Mandell, PEOPLE.com, 29 July 2022 Much of Thursday’s session was about forcing her fellow-Republicans to wallow in that dishonor, and this is why the hearing both began and ended with clips of the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell condemning Trump’s actions. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 22 July 2022
Noun
But somehow, thanks to some bold steering, ingenious staging and a potent humanity — especially in depicting the calmness that creating art gives Petrov — the movie never feels like a pitiful wallow. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2022 Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, shares a lot of the scrappy spirit of the long-running Showtime hit (while avoiding its more ridiculous comic excesses) in a way that prevents Alex’s tale from feeling like a wallow. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 22 Sep. 2021 Brisk, brusque Beethoven has, in fact, become the norm, as predictable as the old Wagnerian wallow. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 23 Aug. 2021 The area is very secluded and bulls like to go to the meadow for a big drink and a refreshing splash in the wallow during midday, while their harem is sleeping off a night of debauchery. Outdoor Life, 10 Dec. 2020 The Ghost's pillowy initial response to a bump feels as if it will be followed by the wallow of a '60s land yacht, but the air springs and adaptive dampers arrest the seemingly inevitable counter heave. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 23 Sep. 2020 Sometimes, when all lighter diversions have failed, what a person who’s been in confinement needs is a wallow in the pitch-black mud. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 31 May 2020 In Seoul, a shuttered restaurant wallows in an ordinarily bustling market. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2020 The hogs cause erosion and create wallows that collect water and serve as breeding areas for mosquitoes, Aplaca said. John Delapp, Houston Chronicle, 5 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wallow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English walwen "to turn oneself over and over, writhe about, roll oneself in a substance, indulge oneself unrestrainedly," going back to Old English wealwian "to roll (of a round object), to roll from side to side (of a person or animal), roll in a substance," going back to Germanic *walwōjan-, iterative derivative of a base *walw-, also in Gothic afwalwjan "to roll away (an object)," atwalwjan "to roll up to," going back to Indo-European *u̯ol-u̯-, ablaut derivative of a base *u̯el-u̯-, whence Latin volvō, volvere "to set in a circular course, cause to roll" (< *u̯eluu̯ō), Greek eilýō, eilýein "to wrap round, envelop," Armenian gelum "to twist, squeeze"

Note: The base *u̯el-u̯- is taken to be an extension of *u̯el- "roll"—see etymology and note at welter entry 1.

Noun

derivative of wallow entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

circa 1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wallow was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near wallow

Cite this Entry

“Wallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wallow. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

wallow 1 of 2

verb

wal·​low ˈwäl-ō How to pronounce wallow (audio)
1
: to roll about in or as if in deep mud
elephants wallowing in the river
2
: to devote oneself to something pleasurable
3
: to become or remain helpless
allowed them to wallow in their ignorance
wallower noun

wallow

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act of wallowing
2
: a muddy or dust-filled area where animals wallow
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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