verb \ˈswel\

: to become larger than normal

: to make (something, such as a river) larger or more full than normal

: to increase in size or number

swelledswelled or swol·len \ˈswō-lən\ swell·ing

Full Definition of SWELL

intransitive verb
a :  to expand (as in size, volume, or numbers) gradually beyond a normal or original limit <the population swelled>
b :  to become distended or puffed up <her ankle is badly swollen>
c :  to form a bulge or rounded elevation
a :  to become filled with pride and arrogance
b :  to behave or speak in a pompous, blustering, or self-important manner
c :  to play the swell
:  to become distended with emotion
transitive verb
:  to affect with a powerful or expansive emotion
:  to increase the size, number, or intensity of <swell the applicant pool>

Examples of SWELL

  1. Her broken ankle swelled badly.
  2. Heavy rains swelled the river.
  3. The population has swelled in recent years.
  4. The economy is swelling at an annual rate of five percent.
  5. Immigrants have swelled the population.

Origin of SWELL

Middle English, from Old English swellan; akin to Old High German swellan to swell
First Known Use: before 12th century



: an upward and downward movement of the water in the sea

: the curved or rounded shape of something

: an increase in size or number

Full Definition of SWELL

:  a long often massive and crestless wave or succession of waves often continuing beyond or after its cause (as a gale)
a :  the condition of being protuberant
b :  a rounded elevation
a :  the act or process of swelling
b (1) :  a gradual increase and decrease of the loudness of a musical sound; also :  a sign indicating a swell
(2) :  a device used in an organ for governing loudness
a archaic :  an impressive, pompous, or fashionable air or display
b :  a person dressed in the height of fashion
c :  a person of high social position or outstanding competence

Examples of SWELL

  1. The storm has brought high winds and heavy swells along the coast.
  2. the swell of a pregnant woman's belly
  3. a swell in the population
  4. the swell of the music

First Known Use of SWELL




: very good

Full Definition of SWELL

a :  stylish
b :  socially prominent
:  excellent —used as a generalized term of enthusiasm

Examples of SWELL

  1. That was a swell party.
  2. <what a swell time we had at the country club dance>

First Known Use of SWELL


Related to SWELL

A-OK, A1, awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, blue-ribbon, boffo, bonny (also bonnie) [chiefly British], boss [slang], brag, brave, bully, bumper, capital, choice, classic, cool [slang], corking, crackerjack, cracking, dandy, divine, dope [slang], down [slang], dynamite, fab, fabulous, famous, fantabulous [slang], fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, four-star, frontline, gangbusters (also gangbuster), gilt-edged (or gilt-edge), gone [slang], grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-class, hot, hype [slang], immense, jim-dandy, keen, lovely, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, number one (also No. 1), numero uno, out-of-sight [slang], par excellence, peachy, peachy keen, phat [slang], prime, primo [slang], prize, prizewinning, quality, radical [slang], righteous [slang], sensational, slick, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, excellent, terrific, tip-top, top, top-flight, top-notch, top-of-the-line, topping [chiefly British], top-shelf, unsurpassed, wizard [chiefly British], wonderful
atrocious, awful, execrable, lousy, pathetic, poor, rotten, terrible, vile, wretched


intransitive verb \ˈswel\   (Medical Dictionary)
swelledswelled or swol·len \ˈswō-lən\ swell·ing

Medical Definition of SWELL

:  to become distended or puffed up <her ankle swelled>
May 28, 2015
fictioneer Hear it
someone who writes fiction
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