Definition of indwell in US English:



  • 1with object Be permanently present in (someone's soul or mind); possess spiritually.

    ‘the Holy Spirit descended to indwell the believers’
    • ‘Demons express much emotion, whether the person indwelt by them feels it or not.’
    • ‘If it's the wine god Bacchus, or the sex god Eros you've taken in, you become controlled by that god, indwelt by that god for a period of time.’
    • ‘Anyone can utter the words, of course, but unless the Holy Spirit indwells a person they cannot say such things as a sincere expression of true worship.’
    • ‘How can I be indwelt by the Holy Spirit and yet be possessed by demons?’
    • ‘Remember that this self-discipline is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and only those who are already saved are so indwelt.’
    • ‘He is dead to sin, dead to self, dead to the world, dead to the law; and he is alive in Christ, identified with Christ, indwelt by Christ.’
    be inherent in, be intrinsic to, be present in, inhere in
    View synonyms
  • 2as adjective indwellingMedicine
    (of a catheter, needle, etc.) fixed in a person's body for a long period of time.

    • ‘An intermittent injection cap was then fastened to the indwelling catheter and secured to the forearm.’
    • ‘An indwelling catheter is placed and facial nerve monitoring established.’
    • ‘Patients receive heparin in many ways, including heparin line flushes, subcutaneous heparin, and heparin-coated indwelling catheters.’
    • ‘Sclerosing agents may also be injected into the indwelling catheter.’
    • ‘She also had a seizure disorder and multiple infections of an indwelling catheter through which she was receiving total parenteral nutrition.’
    • ‘Perhaps the nurse is struggling to insert an indwelling catheter in a patient who is about to undergo a total hip replacement.’


Late Middle English: originally translating Latin inhabitare.