[ swel-ing ]
/ ˈswɛl ɪŋ /


the act of a person or thing that swells.
the condition of being or becoming swollen.
a swollen part; a protuberance or prominence.
Pathology. an abnormal enlargement or protuberance, as that resulting from edema.

Origin of swelling

before 900; Middle English, Old English; see swell, -ing1

Related forms

un·swell·ing, adjective

Definition for swelling (2 of 2)

Origin of swell

before 900; Middle English swellen (v.), Old English swellan; cognate with Dutch zwellen, German schwellen, Old Norse svella; akin to Gothic ufswalleins pride

Related forms

re·swell, verb, re·swelled, re·swelled or re·swol·len, re·swell·ing.un·der·swell, verb (used without object), un·der·swelled, un·der·swelled or un·der·swol·len, un·der·swell·ing.un·der·swell, nounun·swelled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swelling

British Dictionary definitions for swelling (1 of 2)


/ (ˈswɛlɪŋ) /


the act of expansion or inflation
the state of being or becoming swollen
a swollen or inflated part or area
an abnormal enlargement of a bodily structure or part, esp as the result of injury

Related forms

Related adjective: tumescent

British Dictionary definitions for swelling (2 of 2)


/ (swɛl) /

verb swells, swelling, swelled, swollen or swelled



informal stylish or grand
slang excellent; first-class

Word Origin for swell

Old English swellan; related to Old Norse svella, Old Frisian swella, German schwellen
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

Medicine definitions for swelling


[ swĕlĭng ]


Something swollen, especially an abnormally swollen body part or area.
A primordial elevation that develops into a fold, ridge, or process.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.