kvell

verb

kvelled; kvelling; kvells

intransitive verb

: to be extraordinarily proud : rejoice

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Kvell Has Yiddish Origins

Kvell comes from Yiddish kveln, meaning "to be delighted," which, in turn, comes from the Middle High German word quellen, meaning "to well, gush, or swell." Yiddish has been a wellspring of creativity for English, giving us such delightful words as meister ("one who is knowledgeable about something"), maven ("expert"), and shtick ("one's special activity"), just to name a few. The date for the appearance of kvell in the English language is tricky to pinpoint exactly. The earliest known printed evidence for the word in an English source is found in a 1952 handbook of Jewish words and expressions.

Examples of kvell in a Sentence

proud grandparents who kvell over every thing that their precious little darlings do
Recent Examples on the Web Any fan of borscht will kvell at the idea of a beet latke. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Dec. 2022 Bonnie Winkelman, 62, was kvelling (gushing) over her Lhasa apso, Einstein. Alix Strauss, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kvell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Yiddish kveln to be delighted, from Middle High German quellen to well, gush, swell

First Known Use

circa 1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kvell was circa 1952

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Dictionary Entries Near kvell

Cite this Entry

“Kvell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kvell. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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