Skip to definition.
Get the FREE one-click dictionary software for Windows or the iPhone/iPad and Android apps


Verb: swell (swelled,swollen)  swel
  1. Increase in size, magnitude, number, or intensity
    "The music swelled to a crescendo"
     
  2. Become filled with pride, arrogance, or anger
    "The mother was swelling with importance when she spoke of her son";
    - puff up
     
  3. Expand abnormally
    "The bellies of the starving children are swelling";
    - swell up, intumesce, tumefy, tumesce, puff
     
  4. Come up (as of feelings and thoughts, or other ephemeral things)
    "Smoke swelled from it";
    - well up
     
  5. Come up, as of a liquid
    "Tears swell in her eyes";
    - well
     
  6. Cause to become swollen
    "The water swells the wood"
Noun: swell  swel
  1. The undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
    - crestless wave
     
  2. A rounded elevation (especially one on an ocean floor)
     
  3. [informal] A man who is much concerned with his dress and appearance
    - dandy, dude [informal], fop, gallant [archaic], beau [archaic], fashion plate, clotheshorse [informal]
     
  4. A box or chamber in an organ that contains the reeds or a set of pipes and has shutters that open or shut usually by means of a pedal in order to regulate the volume of musical tone
    - swell box
     
  5. A crescendo followed by a decrescendo
Adjective: swell (sweller,swellest)  swel
Usage: informal
  1. Very good
    "he did a swell job";
    - bang-up [N. Amer, informal], bully [informal], corking [Brit, informal], cracking [Brit, informal], dandy [informal], great, groovy [informal], keen, neat [informal], nifty [informal], not bad [informal], peachy [informal], slap-up [informal], smashing [Brit, informal], old, not half bad [informal], ripper [Austral, informal], grouse [Austral, NZ, informal], lovely

Derived forms: swelled, swellest, sweller, swells, swelling, swollen

See also: good

Type of: act, adult male, arise, behave, bozo [N. Amer, informal], cat [N. Amer, informal], chappie [Brit, informal], come up, crescendo, develop, do, elevation, expand, geezer [Brit, informal], grow, guy [informal], hombre [N. Amer, informal], increase, man, moving ridge, natural elevation, originate, rise, rise up, sod [Brit, informal], spring up, surface, uprise, wave

Encyclopedia: Swell, Somerset