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 wallower (audio) \ noun

Examples of wallow in a Sentence


elephants wallowing in the river Buffalo wallow in mud to keep away flies.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Aside from a single 48-hour uplift in the first weekend of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Cardinal has wallowed for more than a decade. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Stock report: On USC football momentum, Stanford basketball personnel hits, Pac-12 bowl partners and more," 7 June 2019 This is BTS at their angstiest, wallowing in the heartache of changing yourself so much for someone that your love is fake. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018 Tom Cruise didn’t sit around wallowing after breaking his ankle while filming Mission: Impossible — Fallout. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "Tom Cruise Did Physical 'Rehab' 12-Hours a Day for 6 Weeks After Breaking Ankle Shooting Stunt," 26 Apr. 2018 But with the flood of new products, and less institutional support, more funds are wallowing with low assets, according to Elisabeth Kashner, director of ETF research at FactSet. Ari I. Weinberg, WSJ, "Where ETFs Are Headed in 2019," 6 Jan. 2019 Fans can wallow in the King connections — the Shawshank penitentiary, now privatized, is a major factor — and the first episode sets up a potentially intriguing story involving a nameless inmate discovered in the prison’s depths. Mike Hale, New York Times, "The TV Binges of Summer, From Jack Ryan to ‘Better Call Saul’," 1 June 2018 But there’s a reason the Steelers weren’t wallowing in the disappointment that a star teammate, one who made the Pro Bowl in three of the previous four seasons, wasn’t returning for their playoff run. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Le’Veon Bell and the Diminishing Value of Running Backs in the NFL," 16 Nov. 2018 Then there’s the tragedy of individual students—those who wallow in victimhood yet enjoy an extraordinary privilege. Jillian Kay Melchior, WSJ, "The Scourge of ‘Diversity’," 12 Oct. 2018 After a devastating 2-1 loss to Croatia on Wednesday (July 11), England is hardly wallowing in self-pity. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "England Fans Unite in Singing Oasis' 'Don't Look Back In Anger' After World Cup Loss," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The baby elephant, nicknamed Happy, was trying to reach the wallow for a drink and a swim with his family. Richie Hertzberg, National Geographic, "This Baby Elephant Might Be Feeling 'Awkward'," 7 June 2018 The updated exhibit will feature mud wallows, grasses, pools, streams and naturalistic trees. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Zoo just got a $50 million gift. But it's just the beginning of a big plan," 7 June 2018 The prospect of another long wallow in the misery of Harry Hope's saloon should give even the most intrepid theatergoer pause. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "A revelatory Denzel Washington in 'The Iceman Cometh'," 10 May 2018 Feral hogs, descendants of domestic pigs, also rip up wetlands, turning them into muddy wallows. Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com, "Army Corps starting levee patrols as Mississippi River rises," 26 Feb. 2018 Here, the meat inside is juicy from a wallow in sa-cha sauce, with its briny payload of dried shrimp and ground brill. New York Times, "At Happy Stony Noodle, a Childhood Favorite Anchors the Menu," 25 Jan. 2018 Late in his tenure as New Jersey’s governor, the onetime political rock star was reduced to an almost defiant wallow after becoming the most unpopular governor in the history of the state. Carrie Dann, NBC News, "Our Crazy Year in Politics: 2017," 31 Dec. 2017 At some point, the water level rose, burying the wallow in sediment, and preserving this priceless fecal Pompeii for posterity. Jacob Mikanowski, The Atlantic, "Reconstructing Lost Worlds With Poop," 19 Dec. 2017 For me, fall evokes a kind of present-tense nostalgia — a wallow in fleetingness, perhaps. Bruce Handy, New York Times, "Frightfully Good New Picture Books to Give Kids the Shivers, or the Giggles," 6 Oct. 2017

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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Statistics for wallow

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wallow

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on wallow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wallow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wallow

Spanish Central: Translation of wallow

Nglish: Translation of wallow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wallow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on wallow

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


to take the place or position of

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