- a coating of some substance serving as a surface for paint, ink, or other media in art: Lead white is a traditional ground for oil paintings.
- ground color(def 2).
- a strip of wood to which woodwork can be attached, set flush with the plaster finish of a room.
- a strip of wood or length of corner bead used at an opening as a stop for plasterwork.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to hit a ground ball.
- to ground out.
- to plow.
- to begin excavation for a construction project.
- to begin upon or take preparatory measures for any undertaking.
- to pass or travel over a certain area.
- to make a certain amount of progress in dealing with a piece of work, subject, treatise, or the like: He talked for two hours without covering much ground.
- gradually from the most elementary level to the highest level: She learned the business from the ground up.
- extensively; thoroughly: The professor knew his subject from the ground up.
- to make progress; advance.
- to gain approval or acceptance: The case for air-pollution control is gaining ground throughout the country.
- to retreat or be forced back.
- to lose one's advantage; suffer a reverse.
- to wane in popularity or acceptance; begin to fail: Our candidate is losing ground in industrial areas.
- into a den, burrow, shelter, or the like: a fox gone to ground.
- into concealment or hiding: Rather than take the witness stand, she went to ground in another country.
Origin of ground1
- the prepared surface applied to the support of a painting, such as a wall, canvas, etc, to prevent it reacting with or absorbing the paint
- the support of a painting
- the background of a painting or main surface against which the other parts of a work of art appear superimposed
- the first coat of paint applied to a surface
- (as modifier)ground colour
- the area from the popping crease back past the stumps, in which a batsman may legally stand
- ground staff
- a connection between an electrical circuit or device and the earth, which is at zero potential
- Also called: eartha terminal to which this connection is made
- (of a ship) to strike the sea bed
- to arrive at something solid or stable after discussing or dealing with topics that are abstract or inconclusive
Word Origin for ground
Old English grund "bottom, foundation, ground, surface of the earth," especially "bottom of the sea" (a sense preserved in run aground), from Proto-Germanic *grundus, which seems to have meant "deep place" (cf. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish grund, Dutch grond, Old High German grunt, German Grund "ground, soil, bottom;" Old Norse grunn "a shallow place," grund "field, plain," grunnr "bottom"). No known cognates outside Germanic. Sense of "reason, motive" first attested c.1200; electrical sense is from 1870.
mid-13c., "to put on the ground, to strike down to the ground," from ground (n.). Of ships, "to run into the ground," from mid-15c. Meaning "to base" (an argument, sermon, etc.) is late 14c. Meaning "deny privileges" is 1940s, originally a punishment meted out to pilots (in which sense it is attested from 1930). Related: Grounded; grounding.
"reduced to fine particles by grinding," 1765, past participle adjective from grind.
cut the ground from under
Unexpectedly withdraw support or destroy one's foundation, trip someone up. For example, Overriding his veto, Congress cut the ground from under the President. This metaphoric phrase alludes to removing the solid earth from under someone. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with ground
- ground floor, get in on the
- ground rules
- both feet on the ground
- break ground
- common ground
- cover ground
- cover the field (ground)
- cut the ground from under
- down to the ground
- ear to the ground
- from the ground up
- gain ground
- get off the ground
- give ground
- happy hunting ground
- hit the ground running
- lose ground
- on one's home ground
- run into the ground
- run to earth (ground)
- stamping ground
- stand one's ground
- worship the ground someone walks on