Origin of swelling
- to grow in bulk, as by the absorption of moisture or the processes of growth.
- Pathology. to increase abnormally in size, as by inflation, distention, accumulation of fluids, or the like: Her ankles swelled from standing.
- to rise in waves, as the sea.
- to well up, as a spring or as tears.
- to bulge out, as a sail or the middle of a cask.
- to grow in amount, degree, force, etc.
- to increase gradually in volume or intensity, as sound: The music swelled.
- to arise and grow within one, as a feeling or emotion.
- to become puffed up with pride.
- to cause to grow in bulk.
- to cause to increase gradually in loudness: to swell a musical tone.
- to cause (a thing) to bulge out or be protuberant.
- to increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
- to affect with a strong, expansive emotion.
- to puff up with pride.
- the act of swelling or the condition of being swollen.
- inflation or distention.
- a protuberant part.
- a wave, especially when long and unbroken, or a series of such waves.
- a gradually rising elevation of the land.
- an increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
- a gradual increase in loudness of sound.
- 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 swelling of emotion within one.
- a fashionably dressed person; dandy.
- a socially prominent person.
- (of things) stylish; elegant: a swell hotel.
- (of persons) fashionably dressed or socially prominent.
- first-rate; fine: a swell party.
Origin of swell
SynonymsSee more synonyms for swell on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for swelling
Swelling, pus, the whole shebang; an angry reaction that lasted weeks.Uh Oh: Ebola Vaccine Trials Stop
December 19, 2014
But then, once this swelling tide has receded, what happens?Owning Up to Possession’s Downside
December 14, 2014
Not hard to imagine what drives this number – money, the ever swelling lubricant of elective office.Beer Countries vs. Wine Countries
December 7, 2014
“I was hospitalized for two or three days waiting for the swelling to disappear,” he recalled.How His West Point Football Experience Inspired Eisenhower
November 11, 2014
She was crying so much that an assistant was tasked with giving her ice packs to reduce the swelling.Bogie & Bacall: A Hollywood Romance for the Ages
August 13, 2014
And he added, swelling visibly with importance: "We got to protect the city."Within the Law
Charles's house on the left; on the right the swelling forms of the Six Hills.Howards End
E. M. Forster
The emotion of the moment was swelling over Roma like a flood.The Eternal City
She helped him to keep his feet on the ground and his head from swelling.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
His limbs pained although they were swelling to enormous size.The Manxman
- 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
- to grow or cause to grow in size, esp as a result of internal pressureCompare contract (def. 1), contract (def. 3)
- to expand or cause to expand at a particular point or above the surrounding level; protrude
- to grow or cause to grow in size, amount, intensity, or degreethe party is swelling with new recruits
- to puff or be puffed up with pride or another emotion
- (intr) (of seas or lakes) to rise in waves
- (intr) to well up or overflow
- (tr) to make (a musical phrase) increase gradually in volume and then diminish
- the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
- a succession of waves or a single large wave
- a swelling or being swollen; expansion
- an increase in quantity or degree; inflation
- a bulge; protuberance
- a gentle hill
- informal a person very fashionably dressed
- informal a man of high social or political standing
- music a crescendo followed by an immediate diminuendo
- Also called: swell organ music
- informal stylish or grand
- slang excellent; first-class
Word Origin and History for swelling
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.
- Something swollen, especially an abnormally swollen body part or area.
- A primordial elevation that develops into a fold, ridge, or process.