Definition of indwell in English:



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

    ‘the Holy Spirit descended to indwell the believers’
    • ‘How can I be indwelt by the Holy Spirit and yet be possessed by demons?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Demons express much emotion, whether the person indwelt by them feels it or not.’
    • ‘Remember that this self-discipline is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and only those who are already saved are so indwelt.’
    be inherent in, be intrinsic to, be present in, inhere in
    View synonyms
  • 2Medicine
    (of a catheter, needle, etc.) fixed in a person's body for a long period of time.

    • ‘An indwelling catheter is placed and facial nerve monitoring established.’
    • ‘An intermittent injection cap was then fastened to the indwelling catheter and secured to the forearm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Perhaps the nurse is struggling to insert an indwelling catheter in a patient who is about to undergo a total hip replacement.’
    • ‘She also had a seizure disorder and multiple infections of an indwelling catheter through which she was receiving total parenteral nutrition.’


Late Middle English: originally translating Latin inhabitare.