[dou-uh l]
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  1. Also called dowel pin. Carpentry. a pin, usually round, fitting into holes in two adjacent pieces to prevent their slipping or to align them.
  2. a piece of wood driven into a hole drilled in a masonry wall to receive nails, as for fastening woodwork.
  3. a round wooden rod of relatively small diameter.
  4. 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), dow·eled, dow·el·ing or (especially British) dow·elled, dow·el·ling.
  1. 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 formsun·dow·eled, adjectiveun·dow·elled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dowel

peg, pin

Examples from the Web for dowel

Historical Examples of dowel

British Dictionary definitions for dowel


  1. a wooden or metal peg that fits into two corresponding holes to join two adjacent partsAlso called: dowel pin

Word Origin for dowel

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

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