swell Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “swell” in the English Dictionary

"swell" in British English

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swellverb

uk   /swel/ us   /swel/ swelled, swollen or swelled
C2 [I or T] to become larger and rounder than usual; to (cause to) increase in size or amount: It was obvious she had broken her toe, because it immediately started to swell (up). The group recruited more members, swelling its ranks (= increasing its size) to more than 1.3 million.literary His heart/breast swelled with pride (= he felt very proud) as he stood watching his son graduate.
[I] If music swells, it becomes louder.

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swellnoun [S]

uk   /swel/ us   /swel/

swelladjective

uk   /swel/ us   /swel/ US old-fashioned informal

swelladverb

uk   /swel/ us   /swel/ US old-fashioned informal
(Definition of swell from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"swell" in American English

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swellverb [I/T]

us   /swel/ past tense swelled, past participle swollen /ˈswoʊ·lən/ swelled
  • swell verb [I/T] (INCREASE)

to become larger and rounder: [I] It’s spring, and the buds on the trees are beginning to swell. [I] One of his eyes swelled shut. [T] Immigrants swelled the city’s population (= increased it). [I] fig. His chest swelled with pride at being chosen (= He felt extremely proud).
swelling
noun [C/U] us   /ˈswel·ɪŋ/
[U] We won’t know how serious the injury is until the swelling subsides.

swellnoun [C]

us   /swel/
  • swell noun [C] (WAVE MOVEMENT)

the slow up and down movement of a long, smooth wave or series of waves in the sea: ocean swells

swelladjective [-er/-est only]

us   /swel/ dated infml
excellent; very good: The food was good and the service was swell.
(Definition of swell from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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