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 result has been a swelling of Welsh pride—and some anti-English sentiment—as a new generation learns about the flooding of Tryweryn. The Economist, "An act of vandalism sparks more talk of independence in Wales," 22 Aug. 2019 The swelling of the bone takes time to develop and can only be found in subsequent MRIs. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "It's not the problem, but Andrew Luck's injury begs the question: What is an os trigonum?," 14 Aug. 2019 Noelle Guastucci of University Heights recently told Fox 5 San Diego that the infection in her foot started with pain and swelling, but with no obvious external signs of trauma. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Expert: Flesh-eating bacteria often present in the body before severe infection takes hold," 19 July 2019 There was no swelling, no pain, no need to ice pack the lower half of my face. Sarah Wu, Glamour, "I Got Masseter Botox for Teeth Grinding, and Here's What It's Really Like," 28 May 2019 In clinical trials, patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that leads to painful and progressive swelling of the joints, have experienced rapid improvement in movement and a marked slowing of joint deterioration. Fortune, "Protect at All Costs: How the Maker of the World’s Bestselling Drug Keeps Prices Sky-High," 18 July 2019 Asthma is a chronic lung disease that, through the swelling of a person’s airways, obstructs the flow of air into and out of the lungs, said Dr. Vamsi Guntur, associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health. Rj Sangosti, The Denver Post, "The Long Shadow: Families in Elyria-Swansea struggle with asthma amid historic I-70 construction," 30 June 2019 Young children are particularly vulnerable to the illness, which can cause swelling of the brain, fever and vomiting. Washington Post, "Death toll in Indian encephalitis outbreak rises to 152," 25 June 2019 Young children are particularly vulnerable to the illness, which can cause swelling of the brain, fever and vomiting. Indrajit Singh, BostonGlobe.com, "Death toll in Indian encephalitis outbreak rises to 152," 24 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

31 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for swelling

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

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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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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