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After the incident he dwelled on the issues surrounding the incident.

What would be other substitutes to express the idea conveyed by "dwell on?"

I considered "mull over", "ruminate", "moped about", etc., but these terms don't communicate the thinking at length about something negative, a frustrating aspect of the term "dwell on." Some of these are too formal or don't have association with the negative frustrating nature of the event.

  • harp on: to talk or write about to an excessive and tedious degree. – user66974 Dec 17 '14 at 13:52
  • You could have considered dwelt on as a credible alternative to the question in your title. But you've obviously misunderstood the expression - it means to express one's thoughts at length and/or exclusively on one particular subject (in a speech or discourse involving an audience). That's not at all the same thing as thinking long and hard about something (mull, ruminate, which would normally be a solitary activity). – FumbleFingers Dec 17 '14 at 14:01
  • I think it's Unclear what OP is asking for here, since dwell on X, mull X over, and mope about X all mean significantly different things, and it's not obvious to me which of those (or which other) sense OP wants top convey. – FumbleFingers Dec 17 '14 at 14:27
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    @FumbleFingers As well as the definitions you've given; Dwell on/upon, does indeed mean, to think about. It does in my dictionary at least. – Joe Dark Dec 17 '14 at 14:41
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    @JoeBlack Brood is a good alternative. Seethe might work as well, depending on the context. – Joe Dark Dec 17 '14 at 14:44
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Brood would work perfectly with what you're describing because it implies both length and negativity. Merriam Webster defines it this way:

Brood (verb): to think a lot about something in an unhappy way

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Perhaps chewed over

(transitive, adverb) to consider carefully; ruminate on

Collins

Also agonize (usually with over)

Undergo great mental anguish through worrying about something

Oxford Dictionaries Online

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Check if lingered (over) appeals to you.

After the incident he lingered over the issues surrounding the incident.

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Cogitated works well here.

  1. to think hard; ponder; meditate:

If that does not express enough negativity then you could use, from BrEng, the verb "obsess" as in, "He obsessed about..."

  1. to worry neurotically or obsessively; brood
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A different angle which highlights the insidious aspect, if applicable:

The circumstances surrounding the accident kept creeping up on him/her.

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If the negativity is anger - 'to seethe'

Google defines 'to seethe' as:

(of a person) be filled with intense but unexpressed anger. "inwardly he was seething at the slight to his authority"

A more mild term - 'to stew'

Again, Google gives us:

worry about something, especially on one's own.

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