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

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 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 Better to wallow with Scrooge McDuck in the Money Bin than be caught in the crosshairs of Fox News chyrons. Thomas Doherty, Chron, 10 May 2022 Fifteen miles from the seat of the Indian government, cows rummage for fruit peels and pigs wallow in stagnant water. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Let the Millennials wallow (or degenerate) in their love-work fest. Carolyn Chen, CNN, 4 June 2022 Several of the tables were moved off the patio into shadier spots, and a few of us took Steve up on his invitation to wallow in the pool. Pat Myers, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 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 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.

First Known Use of wallow


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


circa 1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wallow


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.


derivative of wallow entry 1

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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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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wallow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wallow. Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for wallow


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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