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

v 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

v exist or be situated within

Type of:
be, exist
have an existence, be extant

v originate (in)

“The problems dwell in the social injustices in this country”
consist, lie, lie in
Type of:
be, exist
have an existence, be extant

v think moodily or anxiously about something

Type of:
care, worry
be concerned with

v come back to

“Don't dwell on the past”
Type of:
ingeminate, iterate, reiterate, repeat, restate, retell
to say, state, or perform again

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