wallow

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɒ.ləʊ/
  • Rhymes: -ɒləʊ
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English walowen, walewen, walwen, welwen, from Old English wealwian (to wallow, roll), from Proto-Germanic *walwijaną (to roll), from Proto-Indo-European *welw- (to turn, wind, roll).

Verb[edit]

wallow (third-person singular simple present wallows, present participle wallowing, simple past and past participle wallowed) (intransitive)

  1. To roll oneself about in something dirty, for example in mud.
    Pigs wallow in the mud.
  2. To move lazily or heavily in any medium.
  3. To immerse oneself in, to occupy oneself with, metaphorically.
    She wallowed in her misery.
    • 1610, Alexander Cooke, “Pope Joane”, in William Oldys, editor, The Harleian Miscellany: [], volume IV, London: T[homas] Osborne, [], published 1745, OCLC 5325177, page 125:
      If there be any lazy Fellow, any that cannot away with Work, any that would wallow in Pleaſures, he is haſty to be prieſted. And, when he is made one, and hath gotten a Benefice, he conſorts with his Neighbour Prieſts, who are altogether given to Pleaſures; and then both he, and they, live, not like Chriſtians, but like Epicures; drinking, eating, feaſting, and revelling, till the Cow come Home, as the saying is; [...]
    • 1894, George du Maurier, “Part Third”, in Trilby: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, OCLC 174215199, page 165:
      With the help of a sleepy waiter, Little Billee got the bacchanalian into his room and lit his candle for him, and, disengaging himself from his maudlin embraces, left him to wallow in solitude.
    • 1995, The Simpsons Season 7 Episode 1, Who Shot Mr. Burns?, written by Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein:
      With Smithers out of the picture I was free to wallow in my own crapulence.
  4. To live or exist in filth or in a sickening manner.
    • 1698, Robert South, Twelve Sermons upon Several Subjects and Occasions
      God sees a man wallowing in his native impurity.
    • 1895, The Review of Reviews (volume 11, page 215)
      The floors are at times inches deep with dirt and scraps of clothing. The whole place wallows with putrefaction. In some of the rooms it would seem that there had not been a breath of fresh air for five years.
  5. (Britain, Scotland, dialect) To wither; to fade.
Usage notes[edit]

In the sense of “to immerse oneself in, to occupy oneself with”, it is almost exclusively used for self-indulgent negative emotions, particularly self-pity. See synonyms for general or positive alternatives, such as revel.

Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

wallow (plural wallows)

  1. An instance of wallowing.
  2. A pool of water or mud in which animals wallow, or the depression left by them in the ground.
    • 2003, Suzann Ledbetter, A Lady Never Trifles with Thieves:
      Soon, the incessant wind would dry the stenchy wallow to corduroyed cement.
  3. A kind of rolling walk.
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

(From inflected forms of) Old English wealġ, from Proto-Germanic *walwo-. Cognate with Dutch walg (disgust), dialectal Norwegian valg (tasteless). Compare waugh.

Adjective[edit]

wallow (comparative more wallow, superlative most wallow)

  1. (now dialectal) Tasteless, flat.