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

Verb elephants wallowing in the river Buffalo wallow in mud to keep away flies.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don't imagine the worst or wallow in wishful thinking, since changeable conditions will most likely offer the opportunity to try something new and exciting. oregonlive, "Horoscope for July 30, 2020: Happy birthday Yvonne Strahovski; Pisces, mend some fences," 30 July 2020 After Carol’s Second Act, which Heaton both headlined and executive-produced, was canceled in May, the actress — who had just begun to try her hand at producing with Carol — didn’t wallow in defeat. Christina Dugan, PEOPLE.com, "Patricia Heaton Opens Up About Starting Fresh After TV Show Cancellation," 9 July 2020 Fight for the good, or wallow in hate and ignorance alongside history's other losers. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Noose in Bubba Wallace's garage strengthens resolve to fight racism," 22 June 2020 This sedan rides softly, but there is less float and wallow than its size suggests. Phil Berg, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1994 Cadillac Sedan de Ville Has Room to Spare," 8 June 2020 The country’s flagship carrier, which continues to wallow in the red since announcing its turnaround plan in 2015, has asked for support from the government, one of the people said. Yantoultra Ngui, Bloomberg.com, "Malaysia Explores Debt Measures, M&A to Bail Out Airlines," 8 May 2020 Garbage is often left to wallow in giant pits away from tourists’ eyes. Benjamin Lowy, New York Times, "Reveling in the Enigmatic Beauty of Easter Island," 27 Apr. 2020 Wild pigs also wallow in stream beds, causing erosion and water contamination, Abramenko says. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 3 Apr. 2020 The idea was to revisit the album, but instead of just wallowing in the past, to actually take the past and treat it forensically. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "Massive Attack Revisits, and Rethinks, Its Classic Album ‘Mezzanine’," 25 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost Marks an Opulent Evolution," 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, "Finding the Sweet, Stinging Salt in Plays of Confinement," 31 May 2020 In Seoul, a shuttered restaurant wallows in an ordinarily bustling market. Washington Post, "Abandoned streets," 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, "Pasadena on mission to remove feral hogs," 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, "Why bringing back bison could help restore America's lost prairie," 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, "What Conservatives Get Wrong about the Campus Wars," 4 July 2019 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Wallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wallow. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for wallow


How to pronounce wallow (audio)

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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