from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To live as a resident; reside.
  • intransitive v. To exist in a given place or state: dwell in joy.
  • intransitive v. To fasten one's attention: kept dwelling on what went wrong. See Synonyms at brood.
  • intransitive v. To speak or write at length; expatiate: dwelt on the need to trim the budget.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A period of time in which a system or component remains in a given state.
  • n. A brief pause in the motion of part of a mechanism to allow an operation to be completed.
  • n. A planned delay in a timed control program.
  • n. In a petrol engine, the period of time the ignition points are closed to let current flow through the ignition coil in between each spark. This is measured as an angle in degrees around the camshaft in the distributor which controls the points, for example in a 4-cylinder engine it might be 55° (spark at 90° intervals, points closed for 55° between each).
  • v. To live; to reside.
  • v. To linger (on) a particular thought, idea etc.; to remain fixated (on).
  • v. To be in a given state.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To delay; to linger.
  • intransitive v. To abide; to remain; to continue.
  • intransitive v. To abide as a permanent resident, or for a time; to live in a place; to reside.
  • transitive v. To inhabit.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To linger; delay; continue; stay; remain.
  • To abide as a permanent resident; reside; have abode or habitation permanently or for some time.
  • To live; be; exist: without reference to place.
  • To continue on; occupy a long time with; speak or write about at great length or with great fullness: as, to dwell on a note in music; to dwell upon a subject.
  • Synonyms Abide, Sojourn, Continue, etc. See abide.
  • To inhabit.
  • To place as an inhabitant; plant.
  • n. In printing, the brief continuation of pressure in the taking of an impression on a hand-press or an Adams press, supposed to set or fasten the ink more firmly in the paper.
  • n. An automatic pause in the action of one part of a machine to enable another part to complete its work; specifically, in a sheet-metal drawing-press, a pause in the motion of one die to enable another to continue its work, or a pause in the motion of the two dies to enhance the effect of their combined pressure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. come back to
  • v. think moodily or anxiously about something
  • v. inhabit or live in; be an inhabitant of
  • v. originate (in)
  • v. exist or be situated within


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English dwellen, from Old English dwellan, to mislead, delay, dwell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse dvelja to Old English dwellan. Cognates include Danish dvæle and Swedish dväljas.


  • I. iii.156 (129,8) [dwell in my necessity] To _dwell_ seems in this place to mean the same as to _continue_.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies

  • KING: As the U.S. footprint in Iraq shrinks, the Army hopes to guarantee troops 30 months of what it calls dwell time between deployments.

    CNN Transcript Aug 23, 2009

  • I've read and enjoyed all thirteen of Carroll's novels, and this one is going right on the shelf with the others, and will occupy the same oft-visited part of my mental landscape wherein dwell his other magical books.

    Boing Boing

  • The place in which they do dwell is one in which the working poor, clothed in the stigmatizing uniforms of their menial trades, interrogated, tested, monitored, and policed, trade their civil rights-at the very least, their right to privacy and to free speech-for a not quite subsistence wage.

    Looking for a Living Wage

  • Today, it is another kind of crusade, to protect the sacred places of the earth wherein dwell freedom and justice, and good faith and mercy, and humane and Christian civilization.

    The Present Challenge to Canada

  • I would fain dwell on each of these honored names, but must pass on to others no less worthy of honor.

    Art and Handicraft in the Woman's Building of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893

  • "Tabernacle" for dwell is used to mark that, though still on the earth, they in spirit are hidden

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • For the last several years, our Armed Forces have been plagued by a lack of what is known as dwell time -- the amount of time Soldiers have at home with their families between deployments.

    Richard Allen Smith: Afghanistan: A Broken Promise to Military Families

  • Clearly, by 'dwelling', Heidegger does not only mean living somewhere, rather than nowhere: to dwell is to live somewhere, but in a certain way.


  • In effect, to dwell is to 'remain at peace' through freeing or sparing, and then caring for and preserving, things.

    Archive 2009-04-01


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  • According to OED:

    dwale, dwalm/dwam, dwang, dwarf, dway-berry, dweeb, dwele, dwell, dwelth, dweomercræft, dwere, (dwerg), dwild, dwile, dwindle, dwine (plus related terms)

    September 25, 2009

  • Dwarf! But I think that count doesn't include slang like dweeb.

    May 21, 2007

  • What's the third one?

    May 21, 2007

  • December 13, 2006

  • There are only three words in the English language (I believe) that start with dw. Dwell is but one.

    December 12, 2006