verb (used without object), swelled, swol·len or swelled, swell·ing.
verb (used with object), swelled, swol·len or swelled, swell·ing.
- 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 fashionably dressed person; dandy.
- a socially prominent person.
Origin of swell
Synonyms for swell
Antonyms for swell
Related Words for swellgroovy, fashionable, posh, ritzy, surf, crescendo, surge, wave, bloat, bulge, balloon, rise, enlarge, increase, mount, accumulate, fatten, grow, expand, fly
Examples from the Web for swell
Contemporary Examples of swell
It stands to reason the controversy will swell after the release.Kirk Cameron Saves Christmas from Abominable Killjoys (Other Christians)
November 14, 2014
“It would be a swell joke on tout-le-monde if you & Fife & I spent the summer at Juan-les-Pins,” she wrote.The Perils of Being a Hemingway Wife
February 23, 2014
And so the deficit can swell very rapidly during a recession.This Is the Golden Age of Deficit Reduction
December 12, 2013
An airy acoustic guitar begins to strum; a synthesized orchestra begins to swell.‘Reflektor’ Makes Arcade Fire the Biggest Band in the World
October 29, 2013
The sidewalks continued to swell with busy people, hell bent on getting to important places.
Historical Examples of swell
Far away through the forest might be heard its musical clangor and swell.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Now, the stool-pigeon in this trick is a swell English crook.Within the Law
Leave room for it to swell, but secure it firmly, so that no water can get in.
Pour in the pudding, and tie it tightly, leaving room for it to swell.
His ear, moreover, was very sore and began to swell rapidly.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
verb swells, swelling, swelled, swollen or swelled
- the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
- a succession of waves or a single large wave
Word Origin for swell
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.