Definition of “ground” - English Dictionary

“ground” in British English

See all translations

groundnoun

uk /ɡraʊnd/ us /ɡraʊnd/

ground noun (LAND)

the ground [ S ]

More examples

  • Cracks had appeared in the dry ground.
  • The plane dived towards the ground and exploded in a ball of flame.
  • A post had been driven into the ground near the tree.
  • The nuclear waste has been entombed in concrete many metres under the ground.
  • At the end of the race his legs gave out and he collapsed on the ground.

B1 the surface of the earth:

I sat down on the ground.

B2 [ U ] soil:

soft/stony ground
The ground was frozen hard and was impossible to dig.

B1 [ C ] an area of land used for a particular purpose or activity:

a football ground
The lake has become a dumping ground for toxic chemicals.
skills learnt on the training ground (= place where sports teams practise)
grounds [ plural ]

C2 the gardens and land that surround a building and often have a wall or fence around them:

We went for a walk around the hospital grounds.

ground noun (CAUSE)

C2 [ C usually plural ] a reason, cause, or argument:

She is suing the company on grounds of unfair dismissal.
UK Do you have any ground for suspecting them?
[ + to infinitive ] We have grounds to believe that you have been lying to us.
[ + that ] He refused to answer on the grounds that the question violated his rights to privacy.

More examples

  • There should be no discrimination on the grounds of colour.
  • Do you have any grounds for complaint ?
  • The accused pleaded not guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility.
  • He refused to say anything on the grounds that he might incriminate himself.
  • She is suing the company on grounds of unfair dismissal.

ground noun (AREA OF KNOWLEDGE)

C2 [ U ] an area of knowledge or experience:

When the conversation turns to politics he's on familiar ground (= he knows a lot about this subject).
Once we'd found some common ground (= things we both knew about) we got along very well together.
The lectures covered a lot of ground (= included information on many different subjects).
I enjoyed her first novel, but I felt in the second she was going over the same ground (= dealing with the same area of experience).

More examples

  • The debate is becoming polarized and there seems to be no middle ground.
  • I think you're on very shaky ground with that argument.
  • He's annoying to argue with because he keeps shifting his ground.
  • The party has watered down its socialist ideals in order to appeal to the centre ground.
  • We covered a lot of ground in the first few weeks of the course.

groundverb

uk /ɡraʊnd/ us /ɡraʊnd/

ground verb (KEEP ON LAND)

be grounded

If a ship is grounded, it cannot move because it has hit solid ground:

The oil tanker was grounded on a sandbank.

[ T often passive ] If aircraft are grounded, they are prevented from flying or ordered not to fly:

The snowstorm meant that all planes were grounded.

(Definition of “ground” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“ground” in American English

See all translations

ground

us /ɡrɑʊnd/

ground (CRUSH)

past simple and past participle of grind

groundnoun

us /ɡrɑʊnd/

ground noun (LAND)

[ U ] the surface of the earth or of a piece of land:

We laid a blanket on the ground for our picnic.

ground noun (AREA OF KNOWLEDGE)

[ U ] an area of knowledge or experience; a subject:

This teacher just keeps going over the same ground again and again.

ground noun (CAUSE)

[ C usually pl ] a reason, cause, or argument:

[ + that clause ] He refused to answer on the grounds that he’d promised to keep it secret.

ground noun (WIRE)

[ C ] a connection between a piece of electrical equipment and the earth, or a wire that makes this connection

[ C ] A ground is also an object that holds a very large number of electrons, and can accept or supply more when there is an electric current.

groundverb [ T ]

us /ɡrɑʊnd/

ground verb [ T ] (PUNISH)

infml to punish an older child by not allowing the child to go out or be involved in social activities:

My parents grounded me for a week.

ground verb [ T ] (CAUSE)

to have a reason, cause, or argument for your actions or beliefs:

His beliefs are grounded in his experience.

ground verb [ T ] (LAND)

to put or keep on the ground:

All flights have been grounded because of the snowstorm.

(Definition of “ground” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“ground” in Business English

See all translations

groundnoun

uk /ɡraʊnd/ us

[ C, usually plural ] a reason for something:

on (the) grounds of sth The doctor refused to surrender patient records on grounds of confidentiality.
on the grounds that Researchers shut down the trial on the grounds that the vaccine was proving ineffective
grounds for sth Only 13 of the contracts examined listed incompetence as legitimate grounds for dismissal.
on health/environmental/legal grounds The college was shut on health and safety grounds.
drive/run/work sb into the ground

to make someone work very hard, especially so that they become ill or extremely tired:

Although we worked everyone into the ground, we didn't get the job done in time.
They were running themselves into the ground.
drive/run/work sth into the ground

to use something so much that it breaks or stops working:

They decided to run the car into the ground instead of changing it.
gain/make ground

to become more popular or successful:

Despite making ground within her own party, she still has to watch her back.
gain/make ground on sb The search engine is continuing to gain ground on the market leader.

FINANCE to increase in value:

The shares have steadily made ground.
gain/make ground against sth The Euro continued to gain ground against the pound and the dollar through the course of the week.
get off the ground

if a project or activity gets off the ground, it starts or starts to be successful:

There is a difference between a project which never gets off the ground and one which suddenly goes bad.
get sth off the ground

to start a project or activity or to start making it successful:

A lot more money will be required to get this project off the ground.
give/lose ground

to become less popular or successful:

Smaller parties always lose ground in elections.
give/lose ground to sb The firm is continuing to give ground to its foreign rivals.

groundverb [ T ]

uk /ɡraʊnd/ us TRANSPORT

to prevent a ship or aircraft from sailing or flying:

The bad weather meant that helicopters were grounded.

(Definition of “ground” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)