\ \ [OE] Dwell has changed its meaning remarkably over the centuries. In Old English it meant ‘confuse, lead astray’. It goes back to a Germanic base *dwel-, *dwal-, *dwul-, which also produced Old English dwolaerror’, Gothic dwalsfoolish’, and Old High German gitwelanbe stunned’, and beyond that to Indo-European *dhwel-, source of Greek tholósdirt’ and Irish dallblind’. Already by the end of the Old English period, ‘lead astray’ had progressed to ‘hinder, delay’, probably under the influence of the related Old Norse dveljadelay’, and this subsequently developed through ‘linger’ to (in the 13th century) ‘make one’s home in a place’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dwell — Dwell, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Dwelled}, usually contracted into {Dwelt} (?); p. pr. & vb. n. {Dwelling}.] [OE. dwellen, dwelien, to err, linger, AS. dwellan to deceive, hinder, delay, dwelian to err; akin to Icel. dvelja to delay, tarry, Sw. dv[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dwell — means to live in a place, a dwelling. It may also refer to: In gun accurizing, bullet dwell time, time between cartridge ignition, and the time the bullet leaves the barrel. Dwell, a leading UK furniture and accessories company Dwell (magazine),… …   Wikipedia

  • dwell — [ dwel ] (past tense and past participle dwelled or dwelt [ dwelt ] ) verb intransitive LITERARY 1. ) to live somewhere 2. ) if something such as a feeling dwells in a place, it exists and is very noticeable there dwell on or dwell u,pon phrasal… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • dwell — [dwel] v past tense and past participle dwelt [dwelt] or dwelled [I always + adverb/preposition] [: Old English; Origin: dwellan] literary to live in a particular place ▪ They dwelt in the middle of the forest. dwell on/upon [dwell on/upon sth]… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • dwell — [dwel] vi. dwelt or dwelled, dwelling [ME dwellen < OE dwellan, to lead astray, hinder, akin to ON dvelja, to delay < IE * dh(e)wel , to obscure, make DULL] to make one s home; reside; live dwell on or dwell upon to linger over in thought… …   English World dictionary

  • Dwell — Dwell, v. t. To inhabit. [R.] Milton. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dwell — I (linger over) verb accent, accentuate, brood over, continue, emphasize, extend, harp upon, impress, in re commorari, insist, intensify, point up, prolong, prolongate, reiterate, rem longius prosequi, stress II (reside) verb abide, be located,… …   Law dictionary

  • dwell — O.E. dwellan to mislead, deceive, originally to make a fool of, lead astray, from P.Gmc. *dwaljanan (Cf. O.N. dvöl delay, dvali sleep; M.Du. dwellen to stun, make giddy, perplex; O.H.G. twellen to hinder, delay; Dan. dvale trance, stupor …   Etymology dictionary

  • dwell on — / dwell upon [v] linger over; be engrossed in consider, continue, elaborate, emphasize, expatiate, harp on*, involve oneself, tarry over; concepts 17,239 Ant. forget, ignore, miss, pass …   New thesaurus

  • dwell — ► VERB (past and past part. dwelt or dwelled) 1) formal live in or at a place. 2) (dwell on/upon) think, speak, or write at length about. DERIVATIVES dweller noun. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • dwell in — index inhabit, occupy (take possession) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.