Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

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.

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.