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Dwell (plural Dwells)
  1. A period of time in which a system or component remains in a given state.
  2. A brief pause in the motion of part of a mechanism to allow an operation to be completed.
  3. (electrical engineering) A planned delay in a timed control program.
  4. (automotive) In a petrol engine, the period of time the ignition points are closed to let current flow through the ignition coil in between each spark. This is measured as an angle in degrees around the camshaft in the distributor which controls the points, for example in a 4-cylinder engine it might be 55° (spark at 90° intervals, points closed for 55° between each).


Dwell (third-person singular simple present dwells, present participle dwelling, simple past and past participle dwelt or dwelled (mostly US))

  1. (intransitive, now literary) To live; to reside.
  2. (intransitive) To linger (on) a particular thought, idea etc.; to remain fixated (on).
  3. (intransitive, engineering) To be in a given state.

Related terms

Adverbs for Dwell

luxuriously; languidly; pleasurably; laughingly; principally; impatiently; spaciously lingeringly; occasionally; affectionately impecuniously; inharmoniously; eternally gloomily; artfully; gratefully; royally; unostentatiously; sedately; uncouthly; dismally; humbly; indefinitely.


abide, berth, bide, bunk, carry on, cohabit, continue, continue to be, defeat time, defy time, dig, domicile, domiciliate, doss down, emphasize, endure, exist, extend, focus on, go on, hang out, harp on, hold, hold on, hold out, inhabit, inhere, keep, keep on, labor, last, last long, last out, lie, live, live on, live through, lodge, maintain, nest, occupy, perch, perdure, perennate, persist, persist in, prevail, remain, reside, rest, room, roost, run, run on, squat, stand, stay, stay on, stress, subsist, survive, sustain, tarry, tenant, tide over, wear, wear well


From Old Norse dvelja [1] to Old English dwellan. Cognates include Danish dvæle and Swedish dväljas.


  • Rhymes: -ɛl



  1. According to ODS "(eng. dwell er laan fra nord.)", "English dwell is a loanword from Old Norse"
  2. Oxford-Paravia Concise - Dizionario Inglese-Italiano e Italiano-Inglese (in collaborazione con Oxford University Press). Edited by Maria Cristina Bareggi. Torino: Paravia, 2003. ISBN 8839551107. Online version here