verb (used without object), dwelt or dwelled, dwell·ing.
- a flat or cylindrical area on a cam for maintaining a follower in a certain position during part of a cycle.
- a period in a cycle in the operation of a machine or engine during which a given part remains motionless.
Origin of dwell
verb dwells, dwelling, dwelt (dwɛlt) or dwelled (intr)
Word Origin for dwell
Old English dwellan "to mislead, deceive," originally "to make a fool of, lead astray," from Proto-Germanic *dwaljanan (cf. Old Norse dvöl "delay," dvali "sleep;" Middle Dutch dwellen "to stun, make giddy, perplex;" Old High German twellen "to hinder, delay;" Danish dvale "trance, stupor," dvaelbær "narcotic berry," source of Middle English dwale "nightshade"), from PIE *dhwel-, from root *dheu- (1) "dust, cloud, vapor, smoke" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits").
Related to Old English gedweola "error, heresy, madness." Sense shifted in Middle English through "hinder, delay," to "linger" (c.1200, as still in phrase to dwell upon), to "make a home" (mid-13c.). Related: Dwelled; dwelt; dwells.
Also, dwell upon. Linger over; ponder, speak or write at length. For example, Let's not dwell on this topic too long; we have a lot to cover today. [c. 1500]