Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to dwell: habitat
dwell (up)on (someone or something)
1. To obsessively think or worry about something. Try not to dwell on this rejection, honey. There are plenty of other nice boys you can ask to the dance.
2. To inhabit a particular place or surface. I want to become a scientist and study the creatures that dwell upon other planets. That type of animal dwells exclusively on land.
See also: dwell
dwell (up)on someone or something
to remain on the [important] subject of someone or something for a long time. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) I can't dwell upon this subject anymore. There is no need to dwell on Sarah further.
dwell (up)on something
to live on something, such as the planet Earth. (Upon is more formal than on.) This is the largest turtle that dwells upon the earth. Many creatures dwell on this earth.
*in an ivory tower
Fig. in a place, such as a university, where one can be aloof from the realities of living. (Typ—ically: be ~; dwell ~; live ~; work ~.) If you didn't spend so much time in your ivory tower, you'd know what people really think! Many professors are said to live in ivory towers. They don't know what the real world is like.
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]
To think or talk about something to an excessive degree: The teacher dwelled on the subject of tardiness for several minutes.