Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[ground-swel] /ˈgraʊndˌswɛl/
a broad, deep swell or rolling of the sea, due to a distant storm or gale.
any surge of support, approval, or enthusiasm, especially among the general public:
a groundswell of political support for the governor.
Origin of groundswell
1810-20; ground1 + swell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ground swell
Historical Examples
  • Her head sank lower; the Annie Laurie lost the wind, and fell off and rolled on the ground swell.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills Charles Garvice
  • It was like the sound, dull and heavy, of the ground swell that precedes the storm.

    Prisoners of Hope Mary Johnston
  • There also came to him the constant creaking of the dock, the slow dull recurrence of the ground swell against her bow.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Her bosom still was heaving with the ground–swell of her injury.

    Cradock Nowell, Vol. 1 (of 3) Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • His soul is still heaving with the ground swell of the storm, though the blasts come more fitfully, and are dying into calm.

    The Life of David Alexander Maclaren
  • A ground swell, hardly perceptible on the surface of the sea, will kick up no end of a smother on the rock.

    The Boy With the U. S. Life-Savers Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • This was a ground swell, such as never moved in Denboro Bay.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The harbour water was still; and the open––beyond the tickle rocks––was without a ripple or hint of ground swell.

    Billy Topsail & Company Norman Duncan
  • A ground swell cast him again near the vender of prize packages.

    Hoosier Mosaics Maurice Thompson
  • Loud murmurs began to arise at this, and the orator knew that the ground swell betokened the coming storm.

    We Two Edna Lyall
British Dictionary definitions for ground swell


a considerable swell of the sea, often caused by a distant storm or earthquake or by the passage of waves into shallow water
a strong public feeling or opinion that is detectable even though not openly expressed: a groundswell of discontent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ground swell



1818, from ground (n.) + swell (n.). Figurative sense is attested from 1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for groundswell

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ground

Scrabble Words With Friends