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[dwel] /dwɛl/
verb (used without object), dwelt or dwelled, dwelling.
to live or stay as a permanent resident; reside.
to live or continue in a given condition or state:
to dwell in happiness.
to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing (often followed by on or upon):
to dwell on a particular point in an argument.
(of a moving tool or machine part) to be motionless for a certain interval during operation.
  1. a flat or cylindrical area on a cam for maintaining a follower in a certain position during part of a cycle.
  2. a period in a cycle in the operation of a machine or engine during which a given part remains motionless.
Origin of dwell
before 900; Middle English dwellen to lead astray, stun, abide, Old English dwellan to lead or go astray, hinder; cognate with Old Norse dvelja
Related forms
dweller, noun
outdwell, verb (used with object), outdwelt or outdwelled, outdwelling.
predwell, verb (used without object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dweller
Historical Examples
  • I hope you will continue to transfer the beauties of Glenraven after I become a dweller there.

    Ralph Wilton's weird Mrs. Alexander
  • It was as if a dweller in a Harlem flat had been presented with a hippopotamus.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Such encounters have a wistful interest that can hardly be understood by the dweller in places more populous.

    Essays of Travel Robert Louis Stevenson
  • This was evidently the means of water supply to the dweller or dwellers in the cottage.

    A Pair of Blue Eyes Thomas Hardy
  • Like the Oregon species it is a dweller in the heavy timber, and follow the same habits in most all respects.

  • You are thinking that perhaps you might kill this dweller in the cave with your weapons.

    The Ivory Child H. Rider Haggard
  • How strange must these gayeties have seemed to the dweller of the wigwam as the lights from the chteau shone out into the night!

  • Every dweller in Russograd would take a pride in concealing the felon.

    The Shadow of the Czar John R. Carling
  • "The dweller in the Innermost" is not the transcendental self known to a few rare souls, but is merely conscience, known to all.

    Watts (1817-1904) William Loftus Hare
  • O mortal, dweller on the earth, Súryaprabha, fall at his feet.

    The Kath Sarit Sgara Somadeva Bhatta
British Dictionary definitions for dweller


verb (intransitive) dwells, dwelling, dwelt (dwɛlt), dwelled
(formal, literary) to live as a permanent resident
to live (in a specified state): to dwell in poverty
a regular pause in the operation of a machine
a flat or constant-radius portion on a linear or rotary cam enabling the cam follower to remain static for a brief time
Derived Forms
dweller, noun
Word Origin
Old English dwellan to seduce, get lost; related to Old Saxon bidwellian to prevent, Old Norse dvelja, Old High German twellen to prevent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dweller

late 14c., agent noun from dwell (v.).



Old English dwellan "to mislead, deceive," originally "to make a fool of, lead astray," from Proto-Germanic *dwaljanan (cf. Old Norse dvöl "delay," dvali "sleep;" Middle Dutch dwellen "to stun, make giddy, perplex;" Old High German twellen "to hinder, delay;" Danish dvale "trance, stupor," dvaelbær "narcotic berry," source of Middle English dwale "nightshade"), from PIE *dhwel-, from root *dheu- (1) "dust, cloud, vapor, smoke" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits").

Related to Old English gedweola "error, heresy, madness." Sense shifted in Middle English through "hinder, delay," to "linger" (c.1200, as still in phrase to dwell upon), to "make a home" (mid-13c.). Related: Dwelled; dwelt; dwells.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dweller in the Bible

Tents were in primitive times the common dwellings of men. Houses were afterwards built, the walls of which were frequently of mud (Job 24:16; Matt. 6:19, 20) or of sun-dried bricks. God "dwells in light" (1 Tim. 6:16; 1 John 1:7), in heaven (Ps. 123:1), in his church (Ps. 9:11; 1 John 4:12). Christ dwelt on earth in the days of his humiliation (John 1:14). He now dwells in the hearts of his people (Eph. 3:17-19). The Holy Spirit dwells in believers (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14). We are exhorted to "let the word of God dwell in us richly" (Col. 3:16; Ps. 119:11). Dwell deep occurs only in Jer. 49:8, and refers to the custom of seeking refuge from impending danger, in retiring to the recesses of rocks and caverns, or to remote places in the desert.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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