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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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British Dictionary definitions for swellest

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 swellest

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 swellest

sweet-talk

noun

: He listened to her sweet-talk very receptively (1945+)

verb phrase

To seek to persuade or soften someone, esp by flattery and endearments; fat mouth (1936+)


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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