swell Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Definition of “swell” - English Dictionary

"swell" in American English

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swellverb [I/T]

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

to ​becomelarger 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 ​feltextremelyproud).
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, ​smoothwave 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)







"swell" in British English

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swellverb

uk   us   /swel/ (swelled, swollen or swelled)
C2 [I or T] to ​becomelarger and ​rounder than ​usual; to (​cause to) ​increase in ​size or ​amount: It was ​obvious she had ​broken her ​toe, because it ​immediatelystarted to swell (up). The ​grouprecruited more ​members, swelling ​its ranks (= ​increasingitssize) to more than 1.3 million.literary His ​heart/​breast swelled with ​pride (= he ​felt very ​proud) as he ​stoodwatching his ​songraduate. [I] If ​music swells, it ​becomeslouder.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

swellnoun [S]

uk   us   /swel/

swelladjective

uk   us   /swel/ US old-fashioned informal

swelladverb

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