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swell

[swel] /swɛl/
verb (used without object), swelled, swollen or swelled, swelling.
1.
to grow in bulk, as by the absorption of moisture or the processes of growth.
2.
Pathology. to increase abnormally in size, as by inflation, distention, accumulation of fluids, or the like:
Her ankles swelled from standing.
3.
to rise in waves, as the sea.
4.
to well up, as a spring or as tears.
5.
to bulge out, as a sail or the middle of a cask.
6.
to grow in amount, degree, force, etc.
7.
to increase gradually in volume or intensity, as sound:
The music swelled.
8.
to arise and grow within one, as a feeling or emotion.
9.
to become puffed up with pride.
verb (used with object), swelled, swollen or swelled, swelling.
10.
to cause to grow in bulk.
11.
to cause to increase gradually in loudness:
to swell a musical tone.
12.
to cause (a thing) to bulge out or be protuberant.
13.
to increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
14.
to affect with a strong, expansive emotion.
15.
to puff up with pride.
noun
16.
the act of swelling or the condition of being swollen.
17.
inflation or distention.
18.
a protuberant part.
19.
a wave, especially when long and unbroken, or a series of such waves.
20.
a gradually rising elevation of the land.
21.
an increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
22.
a gradual increase in loudness of sound.
23.
Music.
  1. a gradual increase (crescendo) followed by a gradual decrease (diminuendo) in loudness or force of musical sound.
  2. the sign (< >) for indicating this.
  3. a device, as in an organ, by which the loudness of tones may be varied.
24.
a swelling of emotion within one.
25.
Slang.
  1. a fashionably dressed person; dandy.
  2. a socially prominent person.
adjective, Informal.
26.
(of things) stylish; elegant:
a swell hotel.
27.
(of persons) fashionably dressed or socially prominent.
28.
first-rate; fine:
a swell party.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English swellen (v.), Old English swellan; cognate with Dutch zwellen, German schwellen, Old Norse svella; akin to Gothic ufswalleins pride
Related forms
reswell, verb, reswelled, reswelled or reswollen, reswelling.
underswell, verb (used without object), underswelled, underswelled or underswollen, underswelling.
underswell, noun
unswelled, adjective
Synonyms
1. distend, expand. 5. protrude. 10. inflate, expand. 17. swelling. 18. bulge. 19. billow. 27, 28. grand.
Antonyms
1. contract. 13. decrease, diminish.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for swelled
  • But even as the number of parks swelled no central organization existed to manage them.
  • She didn't know this until she was stung and it swelled to a quite large size.
  • The squirrel, to my surprise, swelled into a grizzly.
  • Prescriptions for bipolar disorder and anxiety have also swelled.
  • As their ranks swelled with new arrivals, the protesters vowed to hold both areas and defend the expansion of the occupation.
  • Within months she developed stiff, achy joints and her fingers swelled.
  • Two months later the ranks had swelled to more than a hundred.
  • Then the movement changed, and fuller, mightier harmony swelled away.
  • The tongue grew rough and swelled, and the dry mouth stood open with its veins enlarged and gasped for the air.
  • It is a need that a state rubber is sweet and sight and a swelled stretch.
British Dictionary definitions for swelled

swell

/swɛl/
verb swells, swelling, swelled, swollen, swelled
1.
to grow or cause to grow in size, esp as a result of internal pressure Compare contract (sense 1), contract (sense 3)
2.
to expand or cause to expand at a particular point or above the surrounding level; protrude
3.
to grow or cause to grow in size, amount, intensity, or degree: the party is swelling with new recruits
4.
to puff or be puffed up with pride or another emotion
5.
(intransitive) (of seas or lakes) to rise in waves
6.
(intransitive) to well up or overflow
7.
(transitive) to make (a musical phrase) increase gradually in volume and then diminish
noun
8.
  1. the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
  2. a succession of waves or a single large wave
9.
a swelling or being swollen; expansion
10.
an increase in quantity or degree; inflation
11.
a bulge; protuberance
12.
a gentle hill
13.
(informal) a person very fashionably dressed
14.
(informal) a man of high social or political standing
15.
(music) a crescendo followed by an immediate diminuendo
16.
(music) Also called swell organ
  1. a set of pipes on an organ housed in a box (swell box) fitted with a shutter operated by a pedal, which can be opened or closed to control the volume
  2. the manual on an organ controlling this Compare choir (sense 4), great (sense 21)
adjective
17.
(informal) stylish or grand
18.
(slang) excellent; first-class
Word Origin
Old English swellan; related to Old Norse svella, Old Frisian swella, German schwellen
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
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Word Origin and History for swelled

swell

v.

Old English swellan "grow or make bigger" (past tense sweall, past participle swollen), from Proto-Germanic *swelnanan (cf. Old Saxon swellan, Old Norse svella, Old Frisian swella, Middle Dutch swellen, Dutch zwellen, Old High German swellan, German schwellen), of unknown origin.

n.

early 13c., "a morbid swelling," from swell (v.). In reference to a rise of the sea, it is attested from c.1600. The meaning "wealthy, elegant person" is first recorded 1786; hence the adjectival meaning "fashionably dressed or equipped" (1810), both from the notion of "puffed-up, pompous" behavior. The sense of "good, excellent" first occurs 1897, and as a stand-alone expression of satisfaction it is recorded from 1930 in American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for swelled

swell

adjective

Excellent; wonderful; superb: The hotels are swell/ He was a hell of a swell fellow (1888+)

adverb

: The new owners have treated me swell (1920s+)

noun
  1. A stylish and well-groomed person; dude (1786+)
  2. A wealthy, elegant person; a socialite; nob: up on the hill where the swells live (1786+)

[perhaps fr the late 18th-century phrase cut a swell, ''swagger,'' describing the behavior of a person who swells with arrogance]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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