a small, usually wooded valley; vale.

Origin of dell

before 1000; Middle English delle, Old English dell; akin to dale




a male or female given name.



plural noun

Origin of dells

by construal as a plural of dell



(in names of Italian derivation) an elided form of della: Giovanni dell' Anguillara. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dell

glen, dale, glade, dingle, vale

Examples from the Web for dell

Contemporary Examples of dell

Historical Examples of dell

  • "Well, I do think it's awfully good, Dell," began the Countess.

  • We can't do that, Dell; we got to stay here and feed this gang once more.

  • I am sorry to trouble you; but I really am unable to leave the Dell.


    Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

  • "I have left it behind me in the dell," she said, blushing and hanging her head.

    Sandman's Goodnight Stories

    Abbie Phillips Walker

  • "Dell wasn't elected to the office," Judge Thayer explained.

    Trail's End

    George W. Ogden

British Dictionary definitions for dell



a small, esp wooded hollow

Word Origin for dell

Old English; related to Middle Low German delle valley; compare dale
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

Word Origin and History for dell

Old English dell "dell, hollow, dale" (perhaps lost and then borrowed in Middle English from cognate Middle Dutch/Middle Low German delle), from Proto-Germanic *daljo (cf. German Delle "dent, depression," Gothic ib-dalja "slope of a mountain"); related to dale (q.v.).


rogue's cant 16c.-17c. for "a young girl of the vagrant class," of uncertain origin.

A Dell is a yonge wenche, able for generation, and not yet knowen or broken by the vpright man. ... [W]hen they have beene lyen with all by the vpright man then they be Doxes, and no Dells. [Thomas Harman, "A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors," 1567]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper