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.


Nearby words

  1. groundside,
  2. groundsill,
  3. groundskeeper,
  4. groundsman,
  5. groundspeed,
  6. groundwater,
  7. groundwood,
  8. groundwood pulp,
  9. groundwork,
  10. group

Origin of groundswell

First recorded in 1810–20; ground1 + swell Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for groundswell

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 expresseda 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

Word Origin and History for groundswell



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper