- a past participle of swell.
- enlarged by or as by swelling; puffed up; tumid.
- turgid or bombastic.
- to grow in bulk, as by the absorption of moisture or the processes of growth.
- Pathology. to increase abnormally in size, as by inflation, distention, accumulation of fluids, or the like: Her ankles swelled from standing.
- to rise in waves, as the sea.
- to well up, as a spring or as tears.
- to bulge out, as a sail or the middle of a cask.
- to grow in amount, degree, force, etc.
- to increase gradually in volume or intensity, as sound: The music swelled.
- to arise and grow within one, as a feeling or emotion.
- to become puffed up with pride.
- to cause to grow in bulk.
- to cause to increase gradually in loudness: to swell a musical tone.
- to cause (a thing) to bulge out or be protuberant.
- to increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
- to affect with a strong, expansive emotion.
- to puff up with pride.
- the act of swelling or the condition of being swollen.
- inflation or distention.
- a protuberant part.
- a wave, especially when long and unbroken, or a series of such waves.
- a gradually rising elevation of the land.
- an increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
- a gradual increase in loudness of sound.
- a gradual increase (crescendo) followed by a gradual decrease (diminuendo) in loudness or force of musical sound.
- the sign (< >) for indicating this.
- a device, as in an organ, by which the loudness of tones may be varied.
- a swelling of emotion within one.
- a fashionably dressed person; dandy.
- a socially prominent person.
- (of things) stylish; elegant: a swell hotel.
- (of persons) fashionably dressed or socially prominent.
- first-rate; fine: a swell party.
Origin of swell
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for swollen
So the discs get all floppy, swollen, pop out left, pop out right.Why Is Louis C.K. So Funny? He Uses Humor as a Moral Compass.
May 2, 2014
But the attitude of doctors was that if the lymph glands were swollen it was a good sign of a body fighting infection.Sean Strub: Sex, AIDS, Politics and Survival
January 27, 2014
According to Robertson—not a registered dietician—low carb diets “build up clinkers” and “you get swollen joints, you get gout.”Diet Like Jesus: What the Bible Says About How to Eat
October 15, 2013
Lifting his swollen hands and visibly cut-up wrists as proof, he leads me through a trail of wounds.James McAvoy Tackles ‘Macbeth’
March 14, 2013
“The art of biography has produced all these swollen books,” McMurtry told me.Larry McMurtry on the Villainous Custer and the Myths of the West
November 17, 2012
After it has swollen as much as it will, the plaster mould is made as before.
His eyelids were swollen by the great tears which at last rolled down his cheeks.The Dream
In short, the swollen river had already done a great deal of mischief.Tanglewood Tales
He was trying to speak, but his swollen lips could scarcely make a sound.The Field of Ice
The late storms had swollen the waters in the neighbourhood.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- a past participle of swell
- tumid or enlarged by or as if by swelling
- turgid or bombastic
- to grow or cause to grow in size, esp as a result of internal pressureCompare contract (def. 1), contract (def. 3)
- to expand or cause to expand at a particular point or above the surrounding level; protrude
- to grow or cause to grow in size, amount, intensity, or degreethe party is swelling with new recruits
- to puff or be puffed up with pride or another emotion
- (intr) (of seas or lakes) to rise in waves
- (intr) to well up or overflow
- (tr) to make (a musical phrase) increase gradually in volume and then diminish
- the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
- a succession of waves or a single large wave
- a swelling or being swollen; expansion
- an increase in quantity or degree; inflation
- a bulge; protuberance
- a gentle hill
- informal a person very fashionably dressed
- informal a man of high social or political standing
- music a crescendo followed by an immediate diminuendo
- Also called: swell organ music
- informal stylish or grand
- slang excellent; first-class
Word Origin and History for swollen
early 14c., past participle adjective from swell (v.); from Old English geswollen, past participle of swellan.
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.
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.