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

Definition of wallow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
4a : 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



Definition of wallow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of wallowing
2a : 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

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Other Words from wallow


wallower \ ˈwä-​lə-​wər How to pronounce wallow (audio) \ noun

Examples of wallow in a Sentence

Verb elephants wallowing in the river Buffalo wallow in mud to keep away flies.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Human capital is the single most important predicate to emergence from the middle-income ghetto in which countries like Mexico wallow. Anne Stevenson-yang, Forbes, 8 Sep. 2021 The games never wallow in this darkness, nor in pity, and never fall prey to a cure storyline that negates everything that came before. Eirik Gumeny, Wired, 31 Aug. 2021 These tales of tourist torment free us from real feelings of complicity, even in Mike White’s acid-traced island drama, which invites its viewers to wallow in the oblivious awfulness of its guests while maintaining a comfortable distance from them. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 31 Aug. 2021 Sometimes, in these tales that wallow in despair, there is subplot or a coda to the destruction. Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2021 The franchise wouldn’t have dealt a future second-round draft pick for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio and then handed center Jarrett Allen a five-year, $100 million extension if the goal was to wallow in obscurity again. Chris Fedor, cleveland, 21 Aug. 2021 Puderbaugh chose not to wither or wallow in self-pity. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Aug. 2021 The grief over losing a connection can feel singularly painful, causing kids to wallow in rejection and parents to worry, but there are steps parents can take to ease this very natural, if painful, part of growing up. Michelle Icard, CNN, 6 Aug. 2021 After Wednesday’s race, Muhammad refused to wallow in self-pity. Sean Gregory/tokyo, Time, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 These depressions can provide a habitat for ground-nesting birds and insects, and spring rains can fill the wallows with water, creating temporary ponds that are home to frogs and other amphibians. Mark Tutton, CNN, 25 Nov. 2019 One wakes up in the morning, wallows in grievance, and proceeds to spend the day railing against the evils of privilege. Sahil Handa, National Review, 4 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of wallow


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wallow


Middle English walwen, from Old English wealwian to roll — more at voluble

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Time Traveler for wallow

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near wallow

Wallops Island


Wallowa Mountains

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Statistics for wallow

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wallow. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for wallow



English Language Learners Definition of wallow

: to spend time experiencing or enjoying something without making any effort to change your situation, feelings, etc.
: to roll about in deep mud or water


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

Kids Definition of wallow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to roll about in or as if in deep mud
2 : to seem to want to be unhappy



Kids Definition of wallow (Entry 2 of 2)

: a muddy or dust-filled area where animals roll about


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