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[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
First recorded in 1810-20; ground1 + swell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for groundswell
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Historical Examples
  • For it is the nature of a groundswell to be exceedingly deceptive.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • The courage and the endurance women must possess to face a groundswell like this!

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • All over the country the groundswell of unrest was steadily and rapidly rising.

    To Him That Hath Ralph Connor
  • A groundswell on, but we are getting along, and feel very thankful to Him who has favored us.

  • To-day the groundswell was more active, the waves closer together, not having had time to forget the force of the extinct gale.

    The Open Air Richard Jefferies
  • The third-phase waves are of much longer vibration period and wide amplitude, and have been compared to a groundswell on the sea.

  • The Atlantic groundswell upon the distant beaches made a sound as of fairy drums.

    The Drunkard

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
British Dictionary definitions for groundswell


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
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Word Origin and History for groundswell

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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