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[wol-oh] /ˈwɒl oʊ/
verb (used without object)
to roll about or lie in water, snow, mud, dust, or the like, as for refreshment:
Goats wallowed in the dust.
to live self-indulgently; luxuriate; revel:
to wallow in luxury; to wallow in sentimentality.
to flounder about; move along or proceed clumsily or with difficulty:
A gunboat wallowed toward port.
to surge up or billow forth, as smoke or heat:
Waves of black smoke wallowed into the room.
an act or instance of wallowing.
a place in which animals wallow:
hog wallow; an elephant wallow.
the indentation produced by animals wallowing:
a series of wallows across the farmyard.
before 900; Middle English walwe, Old English wealwian to roll; cognate with Gothic walwjan; akin to Latin volvere
2. swim, bask. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wallowing
  • Most of it takes place in a seedy, unsavory bistro thronged with wallowing strumpets, smugglers and sailors.
  • Consumers are nursing battered balance sheets and the government is wallowing in debt.
  • They rouse each other for meals, spend hours wallowing in the pond together, and snuggle up side by side each night.
  • We won't achieve any of those things by wallowing in collective guilt.
  • Their ranging and even wallowing habits can shape plant and animal life on the prairie.
  • Naturally, he rose again, and found himself happily wallowing in a world of mega.
  • To those not getting hired or being let go, she urges that you move on-neither wallowing nor fuming, nor hanging on hopelessly.
  • Its excellent advice for them to stop wallowing in their own filth and move to political action.
  • Advertisers tinker with updating their mascots because they want to avoid being perceived as wallowing in an irrelevant past.
  • We should all get back to work instead of wallowing in self pity.
British Dictionary definitions for wallowing


verb (intransitive)
(esp of certain animals) to roll about in mud, water, etc, for pleasure
to move about with difficulty
to indulge oneself in possessions, emotion, etc: to wallow in self-pity
(of smoke, waves, etc) to billow
the act or an instance of wallowing
a muddy place or depression where animals wallow
Derived Forms
wallower, noun
Word Origin
Old English wealwian to roll (in mud); related to Latin volvere to turn, Greek oulos curly, Russian valun round pebble
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 wallowing



Old English wealwian "to roll," from West Germanic *walwojan, from PIE *wel- "to roll" (see volvox). Figurative sense of "to plunge and remain in some state or condition" is attested from early 13c. Related: Wallowed; wallowing. The noun is recorded from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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