swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Definition of swelling

1 : something that is swollen specifically : an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement
2 : the condition of being swollen

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Synonyms for swelling


bump, knot, lump, node, nodule

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Examples of swelling in a Sentence

There was a swelling above her eye. The swelling around her eye should subside in a few days.

Recent Examples on the Web

The clerk was transported to Baylor University Medical Center with head injuries and was expected to have surgery after the swelling goes down for the three fractures to her orbital socket, the bone surrounding her eyes. Maria Elena Vizcaino, Dallas News, "Robber left gas station clerk inside cooler with fractured skull, Dallas County officials say," 9 July 2019 The swelling was still there the next morning, and the morning after that. Andrea Denhoed, The New Yorker, "A Word of Thanks for My Compression Socks," 2 July 2019 When his swelling goes down, he is expected to have surgery in Los Angeles. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Owner Joe Lacob empowering Warriors to spend big this summer," 19 June 2019 Increased ground swelling is also happening on neighboring Kilauea volcano. Washington Post, "Alert level increased at world’s largest volcano in Hawaii," 2 July 2019 Increased ground swelling is also happening on neighboring Kilauea volcano. chicagotribune.com, "Alert level increased for the world’s largest active volcano, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa," 2 July 2019 These demands add to the swelling cries of tech workers across the country expressing concerns about how and where their work is used. Lydia Horne, WIRED, "Wayfair Walkout, Facebook Data Value, and More News," 26 June 2019 Fluid in the area caused noticeable swelling, though Kepler was feeling well enough to come on later in Wednesday’s game as a defensive replacement in center. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Nelson Cruz delivers in clutch, Eddie Rosario injured in Twins’ win," 26 June 2019 While some people may have a minimal reaction, others may experience blisters and extreme swelling. Emily Shiffer, Health.com, "Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?," 20 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of swelling

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

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Statistics for swelling

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for swelling

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

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More Definitions for swelling



English Language Learners Definition of swelling

: an area on someone's body that is larger than normal because of an illness or injury
: the condition of being larger than normal


swell·​ing | \ ˈswe-liŋ\

Kids Definition of swelling

: a swollen lump or part


swell·​ing | \ ˈswel-iŋ- How to pronounce swelling (audio) \

Medical Definition of swelling

: an abnormal bodily protuberance or localized enlargement an inflammatory swelling

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More from Merriam-Webster on swelling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with swelling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for swelling

Spanish Central: Translation of swelling

Nglish: Translation of swelling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of swelling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on swelling

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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