Definition of dwell in English:


Syllabification: dwell
Pronunciation: /dwel

verb (past and past participle dwelt /dwelt/ or dwelled)

[no object]
  • 1 [with adverbial of place] formal Live in or at a specified place: groups of gypsies still dwell in these caves
    More example sentences
    • She pleased the many tourists that flocked to see the gypsy caravan that dwelt in the forest.
    • The light made her squint and cower back, like some animal that had dwelled in caves for all time.
    • This was where the people I truly considered my kin dwelt.
    reside, live, be settled, be housed, lodge, stay
    informal put up
    formal abide, be domiciled
  • 2 (dwell on/upon) Think, speak, or write at length about (a particular subject, especially one that is a source of unhappiness, anxiety, or dissatisfaction): I’ve got better things to do than dwell on the past
    More example sentences
    • The Law Commission too dwelt on the subject extensively.
    • Earlier, he dwelt on the subjects of environment and the Yamuna river.
    • Generally speaking, I think dwelling on other designers gets in the way of the work.
    linger over, mull over, muse on, brood about/over, think about, overthink; be preoccupied by, be obsessed by, eat one's heart out over; harp on about, discuss at length
  • 2.1 (dwell on/upon) (Of one’s eyes or attention) linger on (a particular object or place): she let her eyes dwell on them for a moment
    More example sentences
    • He dwelt with fastidious detail on her figure and the cleanliness of her fingernails.
    • The camera dwells lovingly on bookshelves, there are close ups of book covers and their spines, the title page and the endpapers.


technical Back to top  
  • A slight regular pause in the motion of a machine.
    More example sentences
    • The interim dwell takes place before the second substep and includes the hydrolysis reaction.
    • The calculation of Eq. 32 assumes that there is no correlation between the dwells at very long dwell times.
    • When the particle emits enough photons and the dwell time is such that photons emitted by a specific particle are registered in consecutive series of dwells, the intensities in these dwells become correlated with one another.



[in combination]: city-dwellers
More example sentences
  • Though rural dwellers juggle various occupations, many remain subsistence farmers in the last instance.
  • Dimidiochromis compressiceps is a sand dweller that inhabits the shallow marshy areas.
  • Neighbouring condo dwellers hang outside on their balconies watching the festivities.


Old English dwellan 'lead astray, hinder, delay' (in Middle English 'tarry, remain in a place'), of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch dwellen 'stun, perplex' and Old Norse dvelja 'delay, tarry, stay'.

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