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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. He dwelt upon what had gone wrong in the meeting for years afterward.
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 in an/(one's) ivory tower
To reside or exist in a place or among a social circle that is characterized by effete academic intelligence and thus is out of touch with or aloof from the realities of life. I don't put much weight in the advice of a bunch of economists dwelling in their ivory towers who've never worked a real job in their lives. It seemed easy to solve all the world's problems when I was dwelling in an ivory tower. Now that I'm out of college, I realize things are so much more complex than I'd imagined.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To think or talk about something to an excessive degree: The teacher dwelled on the subject of tardiness for several minutes.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.