Nearby words

  1. grotty,
  2. grouch,
  3. grouchy,
  4. grouchy, emmanuel, marquis de,
  5. grough,
  6. ground alert,
  7. ground bait,
  8. ground ball,
  9. ground bass,
  10. ground beam


Origin of ground

before 900; (noun) Middle English grownd, grund, Old English grund; cognate with Dutch grond, German Grund; (verb) Middle English grundien, grownden “to set on a foundation, establish,” derivative of the noun

Related forms




a simple past tense and past participle of grind.


reduced to fine particles or dust by grinding.
(of meat, vegetables, etc.) reduced to very small pieces by putting through a food processor or grinder: ground beef.
having the surface abraded or roughened by or as if by grinding, as in order to reduce its transparency: ground glass.

Origin of ground

1755–65 for def 2; see ground1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for grounds

British Dictionary definitions for grounds




the land surface
earth or soilhe dug into the ground outside his house
(plural) the land around a dwelling house or other building
(sometimes plural) an area of land given over to a purposefootball ground; burial grounds
land having a particular characteristiclevel ground; high ground
matter for consideration or debate; field of research or inquirythe lecture was familiar ground to him; the report covered a lot of ground
a position or viewpoint, as in an argument or controversy (esp in the phrases give ground, hold, stand, or shift one's ground)
position or advantage, as in a subject or competition (esp in the phrases gain ground, lose ground, etc)
(often plural) reason; justificationgrounds for complaint
  1. 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
  2. the support of a painting
  3. the background of a painting or main surface against which the other parts of a work of art appear superimposed
  1. the first coat of paint applied to a surface
  2. (as modifier)ground colour
the bottom of a river or the sea
(plural) sediment or dregs, esp from coffee
mainly British the floor of a room
  1. the area from the popping crease back past the stumps, in which a batsman may legally stand
  2. ground staff
a mesh or network supporting the main pattern of a piece of lace
electrical, US and Canadian
  1. a connection between an electrical circuit or device and the earth, which is at zero potential
  2. Also called: eartha terminal to which this connection is made
above ground alive
below ground dead and buried
break new ground to do something that has not been done before
cut the ground from under someone's feet to anticipate someone's action or argument and thus make it irrelevant or meaningless
to the ground or down to the ground British informal completely; absolutelyit suited him down to the ground
get off the ground informal to make a beginning, esp one that is successful
go to ground to go into hiding
into the ground beyond what is requisite or can be endured; to exhaustion
meet someone on his own ground to meet someone according to terms he has laid down himself
the high ground or the moral high ground a position of moral or ethical superiority in a dispute
touch ground
  1. (of a ship) to strike the sea bed
  2. to arrive at something solid or stable after discussing or dealing with topics that are abstract or inconclusive
(modifier) situated on, living on, or used on the groundground frost; ground forces
(modifier) concerned with or operating on the ground, esp as distinct from in the airground crew; ground hostess
(modifier) (used in names of plants) low-growing and often trailing or spreading


(tr) to put or place on the ground
(tr) to instruct in fundamentals
(tr) to provide a basis or foundation for; establish
(tr) to confine (an aircraft, pilot, etc) to the ground
(tr) informal to confine (a child) to the house as a punishment
the usual US word for earth (def. 16)
(tr) nautical to run (a vessel) aground
(tr) to cover (a surface) with a preparatory coat of paint
(intr) to hit or reach the ground

Word Origin for ground

Old English grund; related to Old Norse grunn shallow, grunnr, grund plain, Old High German grunt




the past tense and past participle of grind


having the surface finished, thickness reduced, or an edge sharpened by grinding
reduced to fine particles by grinding
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

Word Origin and History for grounds
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for grounds



A connection between an electrical conductor and the Earth. Grounds are used to establish a common zero-voltage reference for electric devices in order to prevent potentially dangerous voltages from arising between them and other objects. Also called earth
The set of shared points in an electrical circuit at which the measured voltage is taken to be zero. The ground is usually connected directly to the power supply and acts as a common “sink” for current flowing through the components in the circuit.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with grounds


In addition to the idioms beginning with ground

  • ground floor, get in on the
  • ground rules

also see:

  • 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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.