swell meaning, swell definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Search also in: Web News Encyclopedia Images


  ( swells    plural & 3rd person present)   ( swelling    present participle)   ( swelled    past tense & past participle)   ( swollen    past participle  )
The forms swelled and swollen are both used as the past participle.     
1       verb   If the amount or size of something swells or if something swells it, it becomes larger than it was before.   (=increase)  
The human population swelled, at least temporarily, as migrants moved south...      V  
His bank balance has swelled by £222,000 in the last three weeks...      V to/by n  
Offers from other countries should swell the force to 35,000.      V n to n  
2       verb   If something such as a part of your body swells, it becomes larger and rounder than normal.  
Do your ankles swell at night?...      V  
The limbs swell to an enormous size.      V to n  
      Swell up means the same as swell., phrasal verb  
When you develop a throat infection or catch a cold the glands in the neck swell up.      V P  
3       verb   If you swellwith a feeling, you are suddenly full of that feeling.  
LITERARY   She could see her two sons swell with pride.      V with n  
4       adj   You can describe something as swell if you think it is really nice.  
INFORMAL   I've had a swell time.     
    groundswell   swell up  
    swell 2  
Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary  



1    balloon, become bloated or distended, become larger, be inflated, belly, billow, bloat, bulge, dilate, distend, enlarge, expand, extend, fatten, grow, increase, protrude, puff up, rise, round out, tumefy, well up  
2    add to, aggravate, augment, enhance, heighten, intensify, mount, surge  
3    billow, rise, surge, undulation, wave  
4      (informal)   beau, blade     (archaic)   cockscomb     (informal)   dandy, fashion plate, fop, nob     (slang)   toff     (Brit. slang)  
5      (informal)   de luxe, exclusive, fashionable, grand, plush or plushy     (informal)   posh     (informal, chiefly Brit.)   ritzy     (slang)   smart, stylish  
,       vb   become smaller, contract, decrease, deflate, diminish, ebb, fall, go down, lessen, reduce, shrink, wane  
      adj   common, grotty     (slang)   ordinary, plebeian, poor, run down, seedy, shabby, sordid, tatty, unimpressive, vulgar  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

Add your entry in the Collaborative Dictionary.

  • Create your own vocabulary list
  • Contribute to the Collaborative Dictionary
  • Improve and share your linguistic knowledge