ground·​swell | \ ˈgrau̇nd-ˌswel How to pronounce groundswell (audio) \

Definition of groundswell

1 usually ground swell : a broad deep undulation of the ocean caused by an often distant gale or seismic disturbance
2 : a rapid spontaneous growth (as of political opinion) a groundswell of support

Examples of groundswell in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Seeking change across an organization by mandating it top-down without looking at ways to create a cultural groundswell bottom-up can put a transformation effort at serious risk of failure. Barry Po, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 The Star Wars edits in particular attract such a groundswell of support that Grace is the subject of a grassroots fan campaign to be cast in the developing Star Wars sequels. Joe Reid, Vulture, 29 Dec. 2021 These personal recipes of Asian American chefs engendered a groundswell of interest and hunger for chili crisp that laid the foundation for its adoption by food media. NBC News, 21 Dec. 2021 All of which has led to a groundswell of grievance among coaches, who have been demanding better treatment by the PGA of America. Eamon Lynch, USA TODAY, 25 Sep. 2021 The plan, proposed by Lincoln Property Co., has been met with a groundswell of criticism from abutters, union members, and affordable housing advocates who see little community benefit to the development., 8 Aug. 2021 The groundswell of pressure toward sustainability is driving the oil and gas industry toward a major transformation. Victoria Rochard, Forbes, 23 Oct. 2021 An industry-wide consultation opened in July seeded a groundswell of support for Channel 4 across the film and TV sector, with high-profile actors and producers chiming in on how essential the broadcaster is to the wider cultural landscape. Manori Ravindran, Variety, 29 Oct. 2021 If the point of this was to create a groundswell of support so overwhelming that senators from West Virginia and Arizona must succumb to it, that didn't happen. Scott Jennings, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'groundswell.' 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 groundswell

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About groundswell

Time Traveler for groundswell

Time Traveler

The first known use of groundswell was in 1786

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near groundswell

ground sweet


ground table

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for groundswell

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Groundswell.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for groundswell



English Language Learners Definition of groundswell

: a fast increase in the amount of public support for something (such as a political cause or candidate)


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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