1. A usually round pin that fits tightly into a corresponding hole to fasten or align two adjacent pieces.
2. A piece of wood driven into a wall to act as an anchor for nails.
tr.v. dow·eled, dow·el·ing, dow·els also dow·elled or dow·el·ling
1. To fasten or align with dowels: table legs that are doweled to the top.
2. To equip with dowels.
[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; see dek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.