dwelt; dwells; dwelled

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”
    synonyms: 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
    synonyms: inhabit
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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”
    synonyms: 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
    synonyms: brood
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    type of:
    care, worry
    be concerned with
  5. verb
    come back to
    “Don't dwell on the past”
    synonyms: harp
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    type of:
    ingeminate, iterate, reiterate, repeat, restate, retell
    to say, state, or perform again
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘dwell'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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