Dowel definition

douəl
A usually round pin that fits tightly into a corresponding hole to fasten or align two adjacent pieces.
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A piece of wood driven into a wall to act as an anchor for nails.
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To fasten or align with dowels.

Table legs that are doweled to the top.

verb
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To equip with dowels.
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A short cylinder of wood, metal, etc., usually fitted into corresponding holes in two pieces to fasten them together.
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To fasten or furnish with dowels.
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A pin, or block, of wood or metal, fitting into holes in the abutting portions of two pieces, and being partly in one piece and partly in the other, to keep them in their proper relative position.
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A wooden rod, as one to make short pins from.
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(construction) A piece of wood or similar material fitted into a surface not suitable for fastening so that other pieces may fastened to it.
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To fasten together with dowels.
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To furnish with dowels.

A cooper dowels pieces for the head of a cask.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
dowel
Plural:
dowels

Origin of dowel

  • Middle English doule part of a wheel perhaps from Middle Low German dovel plug or from Old French doele barrel stave () (diminutive of douve) (from Late Latin doga vessel) (from Greek dokhē receptacle) (from dekhesthai to take dek- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English dule, of uncertain origin. Compare French douelle, douille, from Middle French douille, from Old French doelle (“the hollow part of a tool where the handle is fixed”), from Old Frankish *dulja (“hollow tube, pipe”), from Proto-Germanic *dulją (“pipe”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰel- (“curvature, hollow”). Alternate etymology derives Middle English dule, from Middle Low German dovel (“plug, tap”), related to German Döbel (“chub”).

    From Wiktionary