expand may apply regardless of the manner of increase (such as growth, unfolding, addition of parts).
a business that expands every year
amplify implies the extension or enlargement of something inadequate.
amplify the statement with details
swell implies gradual expansion beyond a thing's original or normal limits.
the bureaucracy swelled to unmanageable proportions
distend implies outward extension caused by pressure from within.
a distended abdomen
inflate implies expanding by introduction of air or something insubstantial and suggests a vulnerability to sudden collapse.
an inflated ego
dilate applies especially to expansion of circumference.
Examples of swell in a Sentence
Her broken ankle swelled badly.
Heavy rains swelled the river.
The population has swelled in recent years.
The economy is swelling at an annual rate of five percent.
Immigrants have swelled the population. Noun
The storm has brought high winds and heavy swells along the coast.
the swell of a pregnant woman's belly
a swell in the population
the swell of the music Adjective
That was a swell party.
what a swell time we had at the country club dance See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The blow knocked Kessler down onto the concrete – with a megaphone, witnesses told Fox News Digital – and caused skull fractures, brain bruising and swelling that would later kill him.—Christina Coulter, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2023 Initially, prices in Southern California fell as shocked buyers backed away and inventory swelled.—Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 The broadcast organization said that demonstrators outside swelled in numbers and blocked traffic with their gathering.—NBC News, 15 Nov. 2023 The group, comprised of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood in tandem with Tom Skinner from Sons of Kemet, has shared the album’s title track, a gently creepy number powered alternately by an acoustic guitar rhythm, swelling strings, and Yorke’s signature emotive vocals.—Spin Staff, SPIN, 13 Nov. 2023 Our fingers shrink and swell over the course of an average day, so timing will affect the accuracy of your measurement.—Gia Yetikyel, Vogue, 10 Nov. 2023 To support the production of new plutonium pits, the annual budget for Los Alamos's nuclear weapons program and related construction has recently swelled to $3.5 billion—more than one-third the size of New Mexico's state budget.—Abe Streep, Scientific American, 10 Nov. 2023 Doctors suspected swelling in his brain, and ran a test that showed antibodies to the rabies virus in his blood.—Emily Mullin, WIRED, 31 Oct. 2023 At the end of the study, none of the participants experienced severe reactions or anaphylaxis — an allergic response often characterized by difficulty breathing, swelling in the throat, pale skin, blue lips, fainting or dizziness.—Katie Mogg, NBC News, 9 Nov. 2023
By 2021, a swell in media coverage, including original reporting by this magazine, created a broad awareness that Spears had been severely stripped of her personal autonomy and forced to work against her will.—Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, 29 Oct. 2023 Light-years from Earth a similar scene is playing out on a vastly larger scale as waves of hot gas swell to the height of three of our suns and then collapse onto the surface of a supergiant star, according to a recent study in Nature Astronomy.—Allison Gasparini, Scientific American, 17 Oct. 2023 Despite the angst to which the Chargers have subjected their fans, the players said there’s no palpable anxiety in the huddle or on the sidelines when the time remaining shrinks and the significance of every play swells.—Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 16 Oct. 2023 Lionsgate vice-chairman Michael Burns also saw his overall compensation package swell last year, to $10.1 million, against total pay at $4.4 million in fiscal 2022.—Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Oct. 2023 Large swells on Bermuda from a different weather system are forecast to grow as Philippe approaches the island later in the day, the hurricane center said, adding that the confluence of conditions will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.—Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 5 Oct. 2023 One side, with the swell of a breast and a long skirt, appears female.—Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 Much of the time, what each uncovers is the shadowy crooks and swells of the other.—Audrey Wollen, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2023 The single’s radio airplay surges to 15.1 million in total audience, a 39% swell compared to the previous week, and prompts its No. 39 entrance on the all-genre Radio Songs chart.—Trevor Anderson, Billboard, 2 Nov. 2023
The airline, which is among Europe’s largest by flight routes, saw net profits swell to a record €400.7 million (about $428 million) for the six months ending in September, Wizz Air reported Thursday.—Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune Europe, 9 Nov. 2023 These are women boasting bold laughs and heavy hearts, who twist and manipulate hair until their fingers swell from the effort.—Aramide Tinubu, Variety, 3 Oct. 2023 Related: Nuggets hold off Heat to win first NBA championship, Nikola Jokic named Finals MVP Such an offense looks swell when everyone is shooting like an honorary Curry brother.—Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2023 At least Kliff Kingsbury had a nice house There’s a new head coach — Jonathan Gannon, who replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who may have had a losing record with the Cardinals, but at least had a pretty swell house to come home to after a loss.—Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 8 Sep. 2023 The back of the eye can become flattened, and the nerves that carry visual information from the eye to the brain swell and bend.—Rachael Seidler, Discover Magazine, 22 Sep. 2023 The animation features many amusing touches and there are some wonderfully sly jokes, such as the Mona Lisa being exhibited to crowds that immediately swell to the point where no one can see it.—Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Sep. 2023 As the desert fog rolls in and out, the grit stones swell and shrink.—Zack Savitsky, Quanta Magazine, 12 July 2023 Keep reading for the best father daughter quotes that will make both your hearts swell.—Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 2 May 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swell.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Old English swellan; akin to Old High German swellan to swell