ground

1 of 4

noun

plural grounds
1
a
: the surface of a planet (such as the earth or Mars)
especially : the surface of the earth or a particular part of it sometimes as contrasted with the air or sea
She sat down on the ground.
a patch of uneven ground
One person was flown by helicopter and another transported by groundLarry Delkinski
often used before another noun
the cost of ground transportation
the airport's ground crew
sent in ground troops
the country's ground forces
fighting a ground war
b
: an area used for a particular purpose
a grassy picnic ground
fishing grounds
c
grounds plural : the area around and belonging to a house or other building
We toured the grounds of the estate.
d
: an area of knowledge or special interest
He covered a lot of ground in his lecture.
e
: an area to be won or defended in or as if in battle see also proving ground
2
a
: soil, earth
… the nutrient-rich soil that lies deep in the ground.Ariela Bard
b
obsolete : a special soil
3
a
: the bottom of a body of water
The boat struck ground.
b grounds plural
(1)
: ground coffee beans after brewing
4
a
: a basis for belief, action, or argument
ground for complaint
often used in plural
sufficient grounds for divorce
see also common ground, middle ground, high ground
b(1)
: a fundamental logical condition
(2)
: a basic metaphysical (see metaphysical sense 2) cause
5
a
: an object (such as one made of a wire or metal) 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
6
a
: a surrounding area : background
wallpaper with black diamonds on a white ground
b
: material that serves as a substratum
7
: a football offense utilizing primarily running plays

ground

2 of 4

verb

grounded; grounding; grounds

transitive verb

1
a
: to provide a reason or justification for
our fears about technological change may be well groundedL. K. Williams
b
: to furnish with a foundation of knowledge : base
an understanding … that is grounded in factMichael Kimmelman
2
a
: to cause to run aground
b
: to bring to or place on the ground
3
a
: 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

ground

3 of 4

adjective

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

ground

4 of 4

past tense and past participle of grind

Phrases
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The news came as important deadlines loom for schools to implement key regulations, many of which now stand on shakier legal ground. Nicole Fallert, USA TODAY, 10 July 2024 Israel declared war on Hamas in response, launching a ground invasion that fueled the biggest displacement in the region since Israel’s creation in 1948. Samuel Granados, Washington Post, 10 July 2024
Verb
Certain smells, such as lavender and rosemary, can have a calming effect, and self-soothing by feeling the texture of the lotion can also be grounding, Lydecker said. Hannah Seo, The Atlantic, 10 July 2024 Jose Iglesias grounded a two-RBI single up the middle and later scored on a throwing error by second baseman Luis Garcia Jr. to cap off the four-run inning, taking a 5-2 lead. James O'Connell, New York Daily News, 10 July 2024
Adjective
Silky smooth tannins pave the way for flavors of freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, red raspberry, and cranberry. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 12 July 2024 Stir and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ground 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ground.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

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

Adjective

1765, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near ground

Cite this Entry

“Ground.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ground. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

ground

1 of 3 noun
1
a
: the bottom of a body of water
the boat struck ground
b
2
: basis, foundation
grounds for divorce
3
: a surrounding area : background
a picture on a gray ground
4
a
: the surface of the earth
b
: an area used for a particular purpose
the parade ground
fishing grounds
c
plural : the area around and belonging to a building
5
6
: an area to be won or defended in or as if in battle
gaining ground on the other runners
7
a
: an object that makes an electrical connection with the earth
b
: a large conducting body (as the earth) used as a common return for an electric circuit

ground

2 of 3 verb
1
: to bring to or place on the ground
2
a
: to provide a reason for
b
: to instruct in fundamentals
well grounded in mathematics
3
: to connect electrically with a ground
4
a
: 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 run aground
the ship grounded on a reef
6
: to hit a ground ball
grounded to the shortstop

ground

3 of 3

past and past participle of grind

Medical Definition

ground

past and past part of grind

Legal Definition

ground

1 of 2 noun
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)
groundless adjective
groundlessly adverb
groundlessness noun

ground

2 of 2 transitive verb
: 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

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