A dowel is a peg, usually made of wood, that fastens two objects together. A dowel might connect a shelf to a bracket, for example.
Dowels are used in furniture making to hold different parts together, such as a table leg and a table top. A dowel usually works by fitting into a slot or hole in each of the two adjacent pieces. Elaborate cakes with many different tiers might have dowels hidden inside them, connecting each separate cake to the next. The word dowel is believed to stem from the same root as the Middle Low German dovel, "plug" or "tap."