English dictionary

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English adjective: swell

1. swell very good

SamplesHe did a bully job.
A neat sports car.
Had a great time at the party.
You look simply smashing.

Synonymsbang-up, bully, corking, cracking, dandy, great, groovy, keen, neat, nifty, not bad, peachy, slap-up, smashing


Domain usagecolloquialism


English noun: swell

1. swell (event) the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea

Synonymscrestless wave

Broader (hypernym)moving ridge, wave

Narrower (hyponym)ground swell, heavy swell

2. swell (object) a rounded elevation (especially one on an ocean floor)

Broader (hypernym)elevation, natural elevation

3. swell (attribute) a crescendo followed by a decrescendo

Broader (hypernym)crescendo

4. swell (person) a man who is much concerned with his dress and appearance

Synonymsbeau, clotheshorse, dandy, dude, fashion plate, fop, gallant, sheik

Broader (hypernym)adult male, man

Narrower (hyponym)cockscomb, coxcomb, macaroni

Instance hyponymBeau Brummell, Brummell, George Bryan Brummell

English verb: swell

1. swell (change) increase in size, magnitude, number, or intensity

SamplesThe music swelled to a crescendo.

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Something is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)increase

2. swell (social) become filled with pride, arrogance, or anger

SamplesThe mother was swelling with importance when she spoke of her son.

Synonymspuff up

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)act, behave, do

3. swell (change) expand abnormally

SamplesThe bellies of the starving children are swelling.

ExamplesDid his feet swell?

Synonymsintumesce, swell up, tumefy, tumesce

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)expand

Narrower (hyponym)belly, belly out, blister, bloat, blow up, distend, puff, puff out, puff up, vesicate

4. swell (stative) come up (as of feelings and thoughts, or other ephemeral things)

SamplesStrong emotions welled up.
Smoke swelled from it.

Synonymswell up

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Something is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)arise, develop, grow, originate, rise, spring up, uprise

5. swell (motion) come up, as of a liquid

SamplesTears well in her eyes.
The currents well up.


Pattern of useSomething is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)come up, rise, rise up, surface

6. swell (change) cause to become swollen

SamplesThe water swells the wood.

Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)grow

Narrower (hyponym)bloat, bulge, bulk, tumefy

Causeintumesce, swell, swell up, tumefy, tumesce

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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