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[dou-uh l] /ˈdaʊ əl/
Also called dowel pin. Carpentry. a pin, usually round, fitting into holes in two adjacent pieces to prevent their slipping or to align them.
a piece of wood driven into a hole drilled in a masonry wall to receive nails, as for fastening woodwork.
a round wooden rod of relatively small diameter.
Dentistry. a peg, usually of metal, set into the root canal of a natural tooth to give additional support to an artificial crown.
verb (used with object), doweled, doweling or (especially British) dowelled, dowelling.
to reinforce or furnish with a dowel or dowels.
Origin of dowel
1300-50; Middle English dowle < Middle Low German dovel plug; compare German Döbel, Dübel, Old High German tubili
Related forms
undoweled, adjective
undowelled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dowel
Historical Examples
  • dowel, Dobet and Dobest have two or three different meanings.

  • A-1 is the distance from the working edge of the rail to the first dowel.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • The dowel should be dipped in glue and inserted when the glue is applied to the joint.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
  • Duledge was also used for dowel, the wooden pin connecting the felloes.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Bore the holes in the posts and the railing for the dowel pins.

    Mission Furniture

    H. H. Windsor
  • dowel the frames to the ends of the dresser in the places indicated on the drawing.

    Mission Furniture

    H. H. Windsor
  • Be sure that each end is perfectly square, then glue and dowel the 2-in.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • In Figure 159, P represents a small cylinder of wood, possibly a dowel.

    Industrial Arts Design William H. Varnum
  • Loosen the two boards at the centre and place them close to the dowel.

  • The ends of the dowel are cut at a slope to conform to the pitch of the runners.

    Toy Craft Leon H. Baxter
British Dictionary definitions for dowel


a wooden or metal peg that fits into two corresponding holes to join two adjacent parts Also called dowel pin
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German dövel plug, from Old High German tubili; related to Greek thuphos wedge
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dowel

mid-14c., dule "rim or section of a wheel," perhaps akin to Middle Low German dovel "plug, tap" (of a cask). Modern meaning is first attested 1794.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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