Meaning of dwell


To dwell in a home is to live in it. To dwell on something — usually something bad, like a failed romance or terrible service in a restaurant — is to think or speak about it at great length.

Dwell has been part of the English language for over 1,000 years. The definition of the word has evolved considerably since its first recorded use in the 9th century when Old English dwellan meant “lead astray” or “hinder.” If you constantly dwell on the bad things in life, it could hinder you from seeing the good or lead you astray to the negative. If you keep complaining, your friends might tell you to stop dwelling on it or, if they’re really annoyed, they’ll say, “Get over it!”

Definitions of dwell
  1. verb

    inhabit or live in; be an inhabitant of

    “this kind of fish
    dwells near the bottom of the ocean”

    inhabit, live, populate

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    occupy as a tenant
    neighbor, neighbour

    live or be located as a neighbor
    lodge in, occupy, reside

    live (in a certain place)
    domicile, domiciliate, reside, shack

    make one’s home in a particular place or community

    furnish with people

    cause to have too great a population
    cohabit, live together, shack up

    share living quarters; usually said of people who are not married and live together as a couple

    be a lodger; stay temporarily
    bivouac, camp, camp out, encamp, tent

    live in or as if in a tent

    inhabit a nest, usually after building
    board, room

    live and take one’s meals at or in
    move in

    occupy a place

    live in the country and lead a rustic life
    stay at

    reside temporarily

    occupy (a dwelling) illegally
    sleep over, stay over

    stay overnight

    occupy, usually uninvited

    marry or cohabit with a person of another race
    type of:


    occupy a certain position or area; be somewhere

  2. verb

    exist or be situated within



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    type of:

    be, exist

    have an existence, be extant

  3. verb

    originate (in)

    “The problems
    dwell in the social injustices in this country”

    consist, lie, lie in

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    type of:

    be, exist

    have an existence, be extant

  4. verb

    think moodily or anxiously about something



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    type of:

    care, worry

    be concerned with

  5. verb

    come back to

    dwell on the past”


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    type of:

    ingeminate, iterate, reiterate, repeat, restate, retell

    to say, state, or perform again

Word Family

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