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.

1810–20; ground1 + swell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
groundswell (ˈɡraʊndˌswɛl)
1.  a considerable swell of the sea, often caused by a distant storm or earthquake or by the passage of waves into shallow water
2.  a strong public feeling or opinion that is detectable even though not openly expressed: a groundswell of discontent

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Every effort to address it has provoked a groundswell of angry obstructionism
  and demagoguery.
And there doesn't seem to be a groundswell of legislative enthusiasm.
Moreover, the protesters claim they tap a hidden groundswell of support, which
  sometimes breaks through the fear barrier.
But despite the groundswell of enthusiasm, these sites face an uncertain
  economic future.
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