ground

noun, often attributive
\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \

Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the surface of a planet (such as the earth or Mars)
b : an area used for a particular purpose the parade ground fishing grounds
c grounds plural : the area around and belonging to a house or other building
d : an area of knowledge or special interest covered a lot of ground in his lecture
e : an area to be won or defended in or as if in battle
2a : soil, earth
b : a special soil
3a : the bottom of a body of water
b grounds plural
(1) : ground coffee beans after brewing
4a : a basis for belief, action, or argument ground for complaint often used in plural sufficient grounds for divorce
b(1) : a fundamental logical condition
(2) : a basic metaphysical (see metaphysical sense 2) cause
5a : an object 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
6a : a surrounding area : background
b : material that serves as a substratum
7 : a football offense utilizing primarily running plays
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

ground

verb
grounded; grounding; grounds

Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

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

adjective

Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 4)

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

ground

Definition of ground (Entry 4 of 4)

past tense and past participle of grind

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for ground

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are none currently, Kerlin said, and loading and unloading of material must take place from the ground. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Oct. 2021 Morning traffic and sirens echoed up from the ground below. Seija Rankin, EW.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Led by Clerkin and Menashe, Demeter & Co will primarily build brands from the ground up, and usher new brands, like CleanCo, to the American market. Kate Dingwall, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Nights seem noticeably longer than days, and darkness seems to rise from the ground increasingly quickly as evening comes and sunlight fades. Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2021 In 1997 the house was renovated from the ground up by Stella McCartney, who was then just out of school and became the youngest person at the helm. Vogue, 30 Sep. 2021 Mobley prides himself on building from the ground up with homegrown Hughes kids. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, 30 Sep. 2021 McCulloch is building a town from the ground up in Arizona. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 29 Sep. 2021 England's father, who was self-employed and a skilled electrical and plumbing worker who could build a house from the ground up, struggled to find work after the 1929 stock market crash. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For the Berklee Two Track series, the Bookmatch duo hope their performance will compel audience members to listen to their music as well as help ground them in the present, tying in with the theme of connection. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Sep. 2021 Mesquite pods were a food source for centuries for Indigenous people in the Southwest, who ground them into flour. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 12 Sep. 2021 Try to ground yourself to prevent financial distress. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, 25 Aug. 2021 In recent years, the transcendent gymnast regularly signaled her ambivalence about putting her body on the line for a sport that had ground her down both physically and mentally. Jason Gay, WSJ, 28 July 2021 Surrounding herself by supportive people is something that has helped Bargzie ground herself through her career—and her life in general. Alyse Whitney, Glamour, 4 July 2021 Scents can also be particularly easy and useful to ground you in a particular setting or mood. SELF, 30 June 2021 Whether due to historical precedent or recent deals, most of the country’s biggest rights-holding entities are currently owned by players that do not ground themselves on U.S. soil. Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone, 24 June 2021 They are smoked on mesquite wood, a South Texas favorite, and seasoned relatively well with lots of coarse ground black pepper that’s noticeable throughout the meat. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Sep. 2021

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

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

History and Etymology for ground

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best coffee grinders of 2021.

Learn More About ground

Time Traveler for ground

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ground

grouf

ground

groundage

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ground

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ground.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ground. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ground

ground

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the surface of the earth
: the soil that is on or under the surface of the earth
: an area of land

ground

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 2)

: to provide a basis or reason for (something)
: to cause a ship or boat to hit the ground below the water so that it cannot move
: to prevent (an aircraft or a pilot) from flying

ground

noun
\ ˈgrau̇nd How to pronounce ground (audio) \

Kids Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the surface of the earth Leaves fell to the ground.
2 : soil entry 2 sense 1, earth The beans themselves popped out of the ground.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
3 : the bottom of a body of water The boat struck ground.
4 : an area of land sacred ground
5 : an area used for some purpose a hunting ground
6 grounds plural : the land around and belonging to a building the school grounds
8 : a reason for a belief, action, or argument What is the ground for your complaint?
9 : an area of knowledge We covered a lot of ground in class.
10 : a level of achievement or success The company is losing ground.
11 grounds plural : material in a liquid that settles to the bottom coffee grounds

ground

verb
grounded; grounding

Kids Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to provide a reason for The practices are grounded in tradition.
2 : to instruct in basic knowledge or understanding The students are well grounded in math.
3 : to run or cause to run aground ground a ship
4 : to connect electrically with the ground
5 : to prevent (a plane or pilot) from flying
6 : to prohibit from taking part in certain activities as punishment My parents grounded me for a week.

ground

Kids Definition of ground (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of grind

ground

Medical Definition of ground

past and past part of grind

Keep scrolling for more

ground

noun

Legal Definition of ground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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)

Other Words from ground

groundless adjective
groundlessly adverb
groundlessness noun

ground

transitive verb

Legal Definition of ground (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Nglish: Translation of ground for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ground for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ground

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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