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

Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : 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 of knowledge or special interest covered a lot of ground in his lecture
e : an area to be won or defended in or as if in battle
2a : soil, earth
b : a special soil
3a : the bottom of a body of water
b grounds plural
(1) : ground coffee beans after brewing
4a : 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
5a : 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
6a : a surrounding area : background
b : material that serves as a substratum
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


grounded; grounding; grounds

Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : to cause to run aground
b : to bring to or place on the ground
3a : to restrict to the ground ground a pilot
b : to prohibit from taking part in some usual activities grounded her for a week
4 : to connect electrically with a ground
5 : to throw (a football) intentionally to the ground to avoid being tackled for a loss

intransitive verb

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



Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 4)

: reduced to small pieces or a powder by a grinding process ground beef ground coffee beans


Definition of ground (Entry 4 of 4)

past tense and past participle of grind

Synonyms for ground

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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 When her friends try to intervene, other men rush to the table beating them and dragging one outside where she is kicked repeatedly on the ground as the other diners look on. Lily Kuo, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 The Anchorage ban allows barbecue grills and enclosed pellet grills, but campfires, burn pits, portable outdoor fire pits and open fires on the ground are not allowed, according to a municipal wildfire mitigation website. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 Because both had been pulling in opposite directions, Doughty collapsed onto her back on the ground; Wilson stumbled into the counter while holding the knife. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 23 June 2022 Russian forces have destroyed at least seven Ukrainian MiGs in the air or on the ground, reducing Kyiv’s pre-war MiG fleet to as few as 30. David Axe, Forbes, 22 June 2022 Standing balance poses are often done with one foot on the ground, so all of your weight is on one leg. SELF, 22 June 2022 An estimated $15 million of aid is needed to respond to the disaster, Alakbarov said -- a figure that will likely keep rising as information trickles in about the situation on the ground. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 22 June 2022 After finding a wallet on the ground at the recycling center, a woman took it to the police station at 8:30 p.m. June 15. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 22 June 2022 The faith leaders lay on the ground for 20 minutes. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hartford cut into the lead on Daniel Cope’s solo home in the seventh, but Somerset extended its adbantage in the eighth on Anthony Volpe’s solo shot and a fielders’ choice ground out. Hartford Courant, 24 June 2022 As if this wasn't enough action for one episode… Homelander touches ground outside the wreckage of the house. Alex Raiman,, 24 June 2022 Tofu is made from soybeans which are soaked with water and then ground down to a cooked pulp. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 22 June 2022 And at the base of the fragrance is blonde wood, sandalwood and musk to help ground the lighter top and middle notes. Kristin Corpuz, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 June 2022 The grand ideas Macron had going in for remaking France over the next five years -- just like Biden's grand ideas in January 2021 -- now risk being ground into the dust of negotiating one by one for a vote here, a vote there. David A. Andelman, CNN, 20 June 2022 Over the last several years, medical schools — the training ground for all doctors — have reformed their curricula to include topics like the social drivers of health and health policy that influence a person’s well-being. David Velasquez, STAT, 18 June 2022 Solar-power projects across the country ground to a halt amid the uncertainty. Timothy Puko, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Up close, everything seems scorched and ground down to a palette of black, dark gray and gray. Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ground


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2b


1765, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ground

Noun and Verb

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

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

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ground.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for ground


\ 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


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.


Kids Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of grind


Medical Definition of ground

past and past part of grind



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


transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ground

Nglish: Translation of ground for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ground for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ground


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