Definition of dwell in English:

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Pronunciation: /dwɛl/

verb (past and past participle 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 (as adjective, in combination -dwelling) bottom-dwelling fish
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, have one's home, have one's residence, be settled, be housed, lodge, stay
informal hang out, hang one's hat, put up
formal abide, be domiciled, sojourn
archaic bide
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, brood over, think about, spend time thinking about, be preoccupied by, be obsessed by, eat one's heart out over;
harp on about, discuss at length, expatiate on, elaborate on, expound on, keep talking about
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.


A slight regular pause in the motion of a machine.
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.


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'.

Words that rhyme with dwell

Adele, Aix-la-Chapelle, aquarelle, artel, au naturel, bagatelle, béchamel, befell, bell, belle, boatel, Brunel, Cadell, carousel, cartel, cell, Chanel, chanterelle, clientele, Clonmel, compel, Cornell, crime passionnel, dell, demoiselle, dispel, el, ell, Estelle, excel, expel, farewell, fell, Fidel, fontanelle, foretell, Gabrielle, gazelle, gel, Giselle, hell, hotel, impel, knell, lapel, mademoiselle, maître d'hôtel, Manuel, marcel, matériel, mesdemoiselles, Michel, Michelle, Miguel, misspell, morel, moschatel, Moselle, motel, muscatel, nacelle, Nell, Nobel, Noel, organelle, outsell, Parnell, pell-mell, personnel, propel, quell, quenelle, rappel, Raquel, Ravel, rebel, repel, Rochelle, Sahel, sardelle, sell, shell, show-and-tell, smell, Snell, spell, spinel, swell, tell, undersell, vielle, villanelle, well, yell

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