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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.
See also: dwell, ivory, tower
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.
See also: dwell, on

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.
See also: dwell, on

*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.
See also: ivory, tower
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dwell on

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]
See also: dwell, on
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.

dwell on

To think or talk about something to an excessive degree: The teacher dwelled on the subject of tardiness for several minutes.
See also: dwell, on
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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Of course, such grand-scale festivals are insufficient to enable us all to "dwell poetically"; what is needed is for poetry to become part of the daily formation of this city's spiritual life.
Our understanding of how dwelling is always an act of marking "is never fully accessible since (1) it is embodied in skills and (2) we dwell in our understanding like fish in water" (Dreyfus, 1990, page 35).
Different practices involve different ways of marking our dwelling space--whether we flush a conventional toilet or use a waterless composting toilet, whether we produce our own electricity from a small, off-grid solar system or expect it to magically appear from some far off place every and any time we want it, whether we dwell in single family homes or houses designed for small living groups, whether we interact bodily with our dwelling space to help create and maintain our own comfort (or largely do not, in the case of mainstream residential life).
In other words, through the never-ending actions and practices that mark dwelling, we are also making claim--communicating assertions and staking out positions, claims made in the realm of both thought and action (Dewey, 1910; 1922)--while we dwell.
Rose (2012, page 761) argues that "the world needs to be thought of not simply as Dasein's unique situation but as a situation that delivers Dasein to a moment of reckoning; a moment where Dasein can not only see the openness of its situation but also is compelled to respond." All residential dwellers dwell in the world, and all respond to their world by marking and claiming it.
Some people (like those I study) dwell differently, they make creative choices and engage in alternative practices in order to make alternative claims about dwelling, about what dwelling is and what it can be.
This conceptualization of dwelling does shed light on the experiences of residential dwelling and those who dwell differently, yet the application of these conceptual tools to empirical material also allows for an assessment and further development of these theoretical ideas.
We leant to dwell in relation to the world around us, and it is important to recognize the relational nature of dwelling as a social phenomenon (Emirbayer, 1997), as we consider the dwelling experience.
Why not dwell in sukkot for seven days during Adar or Tevet or some other month?
Malbim explains that there is in fact good reason why one should leave home and dwell in sukkot, particularly at harvest time.
For Malbim, this important truth is communicated more by entering the sukka and understanding why God commanded his people to dwell there than by the dislocation experienced by departing from one's house.
Ephraim Solomon ben Aaron of Luntshits, author of the commentary Keli Yaqar, offers a similar explanation of the commandment: "All citizens in Israel shall dwell in sukkot [Leviticus 23:42].
To forestall such haughty thoughts the Torah commands that one leave the house and dwell in the sukka, a temporary dwelling.
Therefore they [the sages] said, "Leave your permanent dwelling and dwell in a temporary dwelling" [bSuk 2a].
The walls may fall, the covering may wither in the storm, God may call you outside; but the sheltering love of God is everywhere and constantly with you, and where it bids you to dwell, where it protects you, there teshvu ke'ain taduru,(29) you dwell, were it only for a moment, in the most fleeting and transitory dwelling, as calmly and securely as if it were your house forever.(30)