ground

noun, often attributive
\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \

Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the bottom of a body of water

b grounds plural

(2) : ground coffee beans after brewing
2a : a basis for belief, action, or argument ground for complaint often used in plural sufficient grounds for divorce
b(1) : a fundamental logical condition
(2) : a basic metaphysical (see metaphysical sense 2) cause
3a : a surrounding area : background
b : material that serves as a substratum
4a : the surface of a planet (such as the earth or Mars)
b : an area used for a particular purpose the parade ground fishing grounds
c grounds plural : the area around and belonging to a house or other building
d : an area to be won or defended in or as if in battle
e : an area of knowledge or special interest covered a lot of ground in his lecture
5a : soil, earth
b : a special soil
6a : an object that makes an electrical connection with the earth
b : a large conducting body (such as the earth) used as a common return for an electric circuit and as an arbitrary zero of potential
c : electric connection with a ground
7 : a football offense utilizing primarily running plays
from the ground up
1 : entirely new or afresh The car has been redesigned from the ground up.
2 : from the very beginning : thoroughly built the resort from the ground up
into the ground
: beyond what is necessary or tolerable : to exhaustion labored an issue into the groundNewsweek
off the ground
: in or as if in flight : off to a good start the program never got off the ground
on the ground
: at the scene of action
to ground
1 : into a burrow the fox went to ground
2 : into hiding might need to make a run for it and go to ground someplace— Edward Hoagland

ground

verb
grounded; grounding; grounds

Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to bring to or place on the ground
b : to cause to run aground
2a : to provide a reason or justification for our fears about technological change may be well grounded— L. K. Williams
b : to furnish with a foundation of knowledge : base an understanding … that is grounded in fact— Michael Kimmelman
3 : to connect electrically with a ground
4a : to restrict to the ground ground a pilot
b : to prohibit from taking part in some usual activities grounded her for a week
5 : to throw (a football) intentionally to the ground to avoid being tackled for a loss

intransitive verb

1 : to have a ground or basis : rely
2 : to run aground The ship grounded on a mud bank.
3 : to hit a grounder grounded back to the pitcher

ground

Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of grind

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for ground

Synonyms: Noun

demesne, park, premises (also premisses), yard

Synonyms: Verb

base, hang, predicate, rest

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ground in a Sentence

Noun

An apple fell to the ground. Mechanical problems kept the plane on the ground. They were lying on the ground. The flight was watched by many observers on the ground. planting seeds in the ground She drove a spike into the ground. They built their house on bare ground. We realized that we were on hallowed ground. They built their house on high ground. Each fall the birds return to their wintering grounds.

Verb

They grounded the ship on a sandbar. The plane was grounded by mechanical problems. Bad weather grounded his flight. a pilot grounded by health problems
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next morning, breakfast will be served prior to a private tour of the castle grounds. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "One night only: You can stay at 'Downton Abbey's Highclere Castle, thanks to Airbnb," 17 Sep. 2019 Vance's investigation appears to be covering some of the same ground as two federal probes. CBS News, "New York prosecutors subpoena Trump's tax returns - AP source," 17 Sep. 2019 The first come, first serve Airbnb listing — which goes live on Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. BST (7 a.m. EST) — features a gallery bedroom with an en suite bathroom and ground views fit for a Downton Abbey superfan. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Live Like a Crawley! You Can Now Book the Downton Abbey Castle on Airbnb," 17 Sep. 2019 More than once, Sané made up ground while tracking back to stop breakaways just as players crashed into the box, sliding through clearances or forcing attackers to slow down and peel off to set up a play. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution," 17 Sep. 2019 Seattle—with plenty of money and plenty of environmentalists—has been a natural testing ground for such efforts. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Money Is the Oxygen on Which the Fire of Global Warming Burns," 17 Sep. 2019 Advertising The board had agreed that was grounds for immediate removal. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Bayona's sequel to Jurassic World called back to Spielberg's first film by moving the action indoors, to a mansion replete with darkened hallways that doubled (unfortunately) as prime hunting grounds for run-amok dinos. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "How the ‘Battle at Big Rock’ Short Film Sets Up a Smarter, Scarier ‘Jurassic World 3’," 16 Sep. 2019 This is a temple of masa — made from corn ground right there in the little walk-up stand on the city’s South Side in a grinder built by owner Steven Pizzini’s family back in the 1930s. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Cocktail from 188 South in New Braunfels tops September’s list of 5 things to eat and drink at San Antonio-area restaurants right now," 16 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There were enough parallels for the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority -- the agency that originally certified the 737 Max -- to earlier reverse its initial recommendation not to ground the aircraft. Washington Post, "Boeing’s 737 Max Crisis -- Your Questions Answered: QuickTake," 18 Sep. 2019 Davidsen, 49, is one of several climate activists hoping to force Heathrow authorities to temporarily ground all flights by operating drones on Friday outside the airport's perimeter fence, but within its no-fly zone. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "The activists hoping to cause chaos at Europe's busiest airport," 12 Sep. 2019 And then there’s the critters (this could be anything from squirrels to mice to ground hogs). Cori Brown, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Cori Brown: Nature signals a time to recharge," 7 Sep. 2019 Many of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners have had to be grounded for engine repairs, while its 18 Boeing 737 Max planes have also been affected by the worldwide grounding that began in March. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Norwegian Air Is Taking Last-Ditch Measures to Avoid Bankruptcy," 4 Sep. 2019 Just be sure to pair it with a sleek pair of booties in a dark or neutral tone to ground your look. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "10 white styles you should totally wear after Labor Day," 29 Aug. 2019 The Hong Kong protests, now running nearly 11 weeks, reached a new fever pitch on Monday and Tuesday after thousands of activists occupied the Hong Kong Airport, causing all flights to be grounded for two days. Karen Chu, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hong Kong Protestors Call for Disney Boycott After 'Mulan' Star Voices Support for Police Crackdown," 16 Aug. 2019 The purpose of the project is to ground the prison experience in a sense of place. Aundre Larrow, Teen Vogue, "“Recognize That This Is a Cage”: Two Formerly Incarcerated Women Recall Life on the Inside," 13 Aug. 2019 Add in classic accessories, like pumps and a structured purse, to ground down the look without being too casual. Tyler Joe, Marie Claire, "How to Style Baggy Jeans," 12 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ground.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ground

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for ground

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English grund; akin to Old High German grunt ground

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ground

Statistics for ground

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ground

The first known use of ground was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ground

ground

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the surface of the earth
: the soil that is on or under the surface of the earth
: an area of land

ground

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 2)

: to provide a basis or reason for (something)
: to cause a ship or boat to hit the ground below the water so that it cannot move
: to prevent (an aircraft or a pilot) from flying

ground

noun
\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \

Kids Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the surface of the earth Leaves fell to the ground.
2 : soil entry 2 sense 1, earth The beans themselves popped out of the ground.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
3 : the bottom of a body of water The boat struck ground.
4 : an area of land sacred ground
5 : an area used for some purpose a hunting ground
6 grounds plural : the land around and belonging to a building the school grounds
8 : a reason for a belief, action, or argument What is the ground for your complaint?
9 : an area of knowledge We covered a lot of ground in class.
10 : a level of achievement or success The company is losing ground.
11 grounds plural : material in a liquid that settles to the bottom coffee grounds

ground

verb
grounded; grounding

Kids Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to provide a reason for The practices are grounded in tradition.
2 : to instruct in basic knowledge or understanding The students are well grounded in math.
3 : to run or cause to run aground ground a ship
4 : to connect electrically with the ground
5 : to prevent (a plane or pilot) from flying
6 : to prohibit from taking part in certain activities as punishment My parents grounded me for a week.

ground

Kids Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of grind

ground

Medical Definition of ground

past and past part of grind

Keep scrolling for more

ground

noun

Legal Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the foundation or basis on which knowledge, belief, or conviction rests : a premise, reason, or collection of data upon which something (as a legal action or argument) relies for validity sued the city on the ground that the city…had wrongfully released…recordsCity of Lawton v. Moore, 868 P.2d 690 (1993) listed adultery and alcoholism as the grounds for divorce
2 : a piece or parcel of land the design being to create high ground for use during overflow periodsBright v. Perkins, 239 S.W.2d 281 (1951) a sudden disruption of a piece of ground from one man's landPorter v. Arkansas Western Gas Co., 482 S.W.2d 598 (1972)

Other Words from ground

groundless adjective
groundlessly adverb
groundlessness noun

Legal Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 2)

: to furnish a ground for : set on a basis that court grounded the disclosure requirement in negligence lawScott v. Bradford, 606 P.2d 554 (1979) an argument grounded on falsehoods

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ground

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ground

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ground

Spanish Central: Translation of ground

Nglish: Translation of ground for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ground for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ground

Comments on ground

What made you want to look up ground? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!