[ kvel ]
/ kvɛl /
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verb (used without object) Slang.
to be extraordinarily pleased; especially, to be bursting with pride, as over one's family.
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Origin of kvell

An Americanism first recorded in 1965–70; from Yiddish kveln “be delighted”; compare Middle High German, German quellen “well up, gush”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does kvelling mean?

Kvelling means bursting with pride or satisfaction, such as over the accomplishments of one’s loved ones.

Kvelling is the present progressive tense of the verb kvell, which comes from Yiddish. Like many Yiddish words, it is primarily used in the U.S. by Jewish people.

Example: Apparently my mother has been kvelling about our engagement since I told her about it—she’s already called all of her friends to tell them!

Where does kvelling come from?

The first records of kvell come from around the mid-1900s. Kvell comes from the Yiddish kveln, meaning “to be delighted.” It is perhaps related to the German quellen, meaning “to well up” or “to gush.”

People who are kvelling are known to gush—meaning they just can’t stop saying positive things about someone they’re proud of. Many similar words suggest being filled beyond capacity, and that’s what kvelling is—it’s being filled with pride to the point of bursting or overflowing. You kvell about people you love. Parents are especially known for kvelling about their children. If you post multiple times about how happy you are that your best friend got a promotion, you’re kvelling. If you text everyone you know 100 pictures of your new baby niece, you’re kvelling.

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What are some other forms related to kvelling?

What are some synonyms for kvelling?

What are some words that often get used in discussing kvelling?

How is kvell used in real life?

Like most Yiddish words, kvell is fun to say and is typically used informally. It’s primarily used by Jews, but it has also caught on outside of the Jewish community.



Try using kvell!

Is kvell used correctly in this sentence?

Judy is always kvelling about having to correct other people’s mistakes.

How to use kvell in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for kvell

/ (kvɛl) /

(intr) informal, mainly US to be happy or show satisfaction

Word Origin for kvell

C20: from Yiddish kveln to well up
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