ground ( grounds plural & 3rd person present) ( grounding present participle) ( grounded past tense & past participle )
1 n-sing The ground is the surface of the earth.
Forty or fifty women were sitting cross-legged on the ground..., We slid down the roof and dropped to the ground. Something that is below ground is under the earth's surface or under a building. Something that is above ground is on top of the earth's surface.
above ground/below ground phrase
People were making for the air-raid shelters below ground.
2 n-sing If you say that something takes place on theground, you mean it takes place on the surface of the earth and not in the air.
oft N n
Coordinating airline traffic on the ground is as complicated as managing the traffic in the air.
3 n-sing Theground is the soil and rock on the earth's surface.
usu the N
The ground had eroded., ...the marshy ground of the river delta.
4 n-uncount You can refer to land as ground, especially when it has very few buildings or when it is considered to be special in some way.
usu with supp
...a stretch of waste ground..., This memorial stands on sacred ground.
5 n-count You can use ground to refer to an area of land, sea, or air which is used for a particular activity.
...Indian hunting grounds..., The best fishing grounds are around the islands.
6 n-count A ground is an area of land which is specially designed and made for playing sport or for some other activity. In American English grounds is also used.
...the city's football ground., ...a parade ground.
7 n-plural The grounds of a large or important building are the garden or area of land which surrounds it.
usu with supp, oft N of n, n N
...the palace grounds., ...the grounds of the University.
8 n-var You can use ground to refer to a place or situation in which particular methods or ideas can develop and be successful.
with supp, oft N for n
The company has maintained its reputation as the developing ground for new techniques..., Colonialism is especially fertile ground for nationalist ideas.
9 n-uncount You can use ground in expressions such as on shaky ground and the same ground to refer to a particular subject, area of experience, or basis for an argument.
supp N, oft on adj N
Sensing she was on shaky ground, Marie changed the subject..., The French are on solid ground when they argue that competitiveness is no reason for devaluation..., It's often necessary to go over the same ground more than once.
10 n-uncount Ground is used in expressions such as gain ground, lose ground, and give ground in order to indicate that someone gets or loses an advantage. (JOURNALISM)
There are signs that the party is gaining ground in the latest polls..., The US dollar lost more ground.
11 n-var If something is grounds for a feeling or action, it is a reason for it. If you do something on the grounds of a particular thing, that thing is the reason for your action.
N for n, on N with supp
In the interview he gave some grounds for optimism..., The court overturned that decision on the grounds that the Prosecution had withheld crucial evidence..., Owen was against it, on the grounds of expense.
12 verb If an argument, belief, or opinion is grounded in something, that thing is used to justify it.
Her argument was grounded in fact... be V-ed in/on n
They believe the soul is immortal, grounding this belief on the Divine nature of the human spirit. V n in/on n
13 verb If an aircraft or its passengers are grounded, they are made to stay on the ground and are not allowed to take off.
The civil aviation minister ordered all the planes to be grounded... be V-ed
A hydrogen leak forced NASA to ground the space shuttle. V n
14 verb When parents ground a child, they forbid them to go out and enjoy themselves for a period of time, as a punishment.
Thompson grounded him for a month, and banned television. V n
15 verb If a ship or boat is grounded or if it grounds, it touches the bottom of the sea, lake, or river it is on, and is unable to move off.
Residents have been told to stay away from the region where the ship was grounded... be V-ed
The boat finally grounded on a soft, underwater bank. V
...a grounded oil tanker. V-ed
16 n-count The ground in an electric plug or piece of electrical equipment is the wire through which electricity passes into the ground and which makes the equipment safe.
(AM) usu sing
in BRIT, use earth
17 adj Ground meat has been cut into very small pieces in a machine.
...ground beef., ...The sausages are made of coarsely ground pork.
in BRIT, usually use minced
18 Ground is the past tense and past participle of grind.
20 If you break new ground, you do something completely different or you do something in a completely different way.
break new ground phrase V inflects (approval)
Gellhorn may have broken new ground when she filed her first report on the Spanish Civil War.
21 If you say that a town or building is burnt to the ground or is razed to the ground, you are emphasizing that it has been completely destroyed by fire.
burn sth to the ground/raze sth to the ground phrase V inflects (emphasis)
The town was razed to the ground after the French Revolution.
22 If two people or groups find common ground, they agree about something, especially when they do not agree about other things.
common ground phrase
23 If you go to ground, you hide somewhere where you cannot easily be found.
go to ground phrase V inflects
Citizens of East Beirut went to ground in basements and shelters.
24 The middle ground between two groups, ideas, or plans involves things which do not belong to either of these groups, ideas, or plans but have elements of each, often in a less extreme form.
middle ground phrase oft PHR between n
She seems to have found a middle ground in which mutual support, rather than complete dependency, is possible.
25 If something such as a project gets off the ground, it begins or starts functioning.
off the ground phrase PHR after v, v-link PHR
We help small companies to get off the ground.
26 If you prepare the groundfor a future event, course of action, or development, you make it easier for it to happen.
prepare the ground phrase V inflects
...a political initiative which would prepare the ground for war.
27 If you shift your ground or change your ground, you change the basis on which you are arguing.
shift one's ground/change one's ground phrase V inflects
28 If you stand your ground or hold your ground, you continue to support a particular argument or to have a particular opinion when other people are opposing you or trying to make you change your mind.
stand one's ground/hold one's ground phrase V inflects
The spectacle of Sakharov standing his ground and speaking his mind gave me hope.
29 If you stand your ground or hold your ground, you do not run away from a situation, but face it bravely.
stand one's ground/hold one's ground phrase V inflects
She had to force herself to stand her ground when she heard someone approaching.
30 If you say that something such as a job or piece of clothing suits someone down to the ground, you mean that it is completely suitable or right for them.
suit sb down to the ground phrase V inflects (emphasis)
31 If people or things of a particular kind are thin on the ground, there are very few of them.
thin on the ground phrase v-link PHR
Good managers are often thin on the ground.
to have one's ear to the ground →
breeding ground ( breeding grounds plural )
1 n-count If you refer to a situation or place as a breeding groundfor something bad such as crime, you mean that this thing can easily develop in that situation or place.
usu sing, with supp, usu N for n
Flaws in the system have created a breeding ground for financial scandals...
2 n-count The breeding groundfor a particular type of creature is the place where this creature breeds easily.
Warm milk is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
burial ground ( burial grounds plural ) A burial ground is a place where bodies are buried, especially an ancient place. n-count
...an ancient burial ground.
dumping ground ( dumping grounds plural ) If you say that a place is a dumping groundfor something, usually something unwanted, you mean that people leave or send large quantities of that thing there. n-count usu N for n, supp N (disapproval)
Eastern Europe is rapidly becoming a dumping-ground for radioactive residues.
feeding ground ( feeding grounds plural ) The feeding ground of a group of animals or birds, is the place where they find food and eat. n-count usu with supp
The mud is a feeding ground for large numbers of birds.
ground crew ( ground crews plural ) At an airport, the people who look after the planes when they are on the ground are called the ground crew. n-count-coll
The airport ground crew tried to dissuade the pilot from taking off.
ground floor ( ground floors plural ) Theground floor of a building is the floor that is level or almost level with the ground outside.
(BRIT) n-count usu the N in sing
She showed him around the ground floor of the empty house..., Jenny now lives in a terraced ground floor flat.
in AM, use first floor
If something is atground level, it is at the same level as the ground, as opposed to being higher up or below the surface. n-uncount oft prep N
The hotel is set on three floors. There's a bar and cafe at ground level..., The remaining block of woodland is cut down to ground level.
ground plan ( ground plans plural )
1 n-count In British English, a ground plan is a plan of the ground floor of a building. In American English, a ground plan is a plan of any floor of a building.
2 n-count A ground plan is a basic plan for future action.
ground rent ( ground rents plural ) Ground rent is rent that is paid by the owner of a flat or house to the owner of the land on which it is built.
(mainly BRIT) n-var
ground rule ( ground rules plural ) The ground rulesfor something are the basic principles on which future action will be based. n-count usu pl, oft N for/of n
The panel says the ground rules for the current talks should be maintained.
1 n-count-coll The people who are paid to maintain a sports ground are called the ground staff.
The ground staff do all they can to prepare the pitch.
2 n-count-coll At an airport, the ground staff are the employees of aeroplane companies who do not fly with the planes, but who work in the airport helping passengers and providing information.
There had been a strike amongst British Airways ground staff.
1 n-sing If a person or organization has the high ground in an argument or dispute, that person or organization has an advantage. (JOURNALISM) the N, oft the adj N
The President must seek to regain the high ground in the political debate...
2 If you say that someone has taken themoral high ground, you mean that they consider that their policies and actions are morally superior to the policies and actions of their rivals.
the moral high ground phrase PHR after v
The Republicans took the moral high ground with the message that they were best equipped to manage the authority...
home ground ( home grounds plural )
1 n-var A sports team's home ground is their own playing field, as opposed to that of other teams.
in AM, use home field
2 If you say that someone is on their home ground, you mean that they are in or near where they work or live, and feel confident and secure because of this.
on home ground phrase v-link PHR, PHR after v
Although he was on home ground, his campaign had been rocked by adultery allegations.
hunting ground ( hunting grounds plural )
1 n-count If you say that a place is a good hunting groundfor something, you mean that people who have a particular interest are likely to find something that they want there.
oft N for n
Other people's weddings are the perfect hunting ground for ideas...
2 n-count A hunting ground is an area where people or animals chase and kill wild animals for food or as a sport.
parade ground ( parade grounds plural ) A parade ground is an area of ground where soldiers practise marching and have parades. n-count
proving ground ( proving grounds plural ) If you describe a place as a proving ground, you mean that new things or ideas are tried out or tested there. n-count
New York is a proving ground today for the Democratic presidential candidates.
stamping ground ( stamping grounds plural ) Someone's stamping ground is a place where they like to go often. n-count usu with poss
stone-ground , stoneground
Stone-ground flour or bread is made from grain that has been crushed between two large, heavy pieces of stone. adj usu ADJ n