the solid surface of the earth; firm or dry land:
to fall to the ground.
earth or soil:
land having an indicated character:
Often, grounds. a tract of land appropriated to a special use:
picnic grounds; a hunting ground.
Often, grounds. the foundation or basis on which a belief or action rests; reason or cause:
grounds for dismissal.
subject for discussion; topic:
Sex education is forbidden ground in some school curricula.
rational or factual support for one’s position or attitude, as in a debate or argument:
on firm ground; on shaky ground.
the main surface or background in painting, decorative work, lace, etc.
(in perception) the background in a visual field, contrasted with the figure.
Also called etching ground. an acid-resistant substance, composed of wax, gum, and resin in varying proportions, applied to the entire surface of an etching plate and through which the design is drawn with an etching needle.
grounds, dregs or sediment:
grounds, the gardens, lawn, etc., surrounding and belonging to a building.
Electricity. a conducting connection between an electric circuit or equipment and the earth or some other conducting body.
Nautical. the bottom of a body of water.
the earth’s solid or liquid surface; land or water.
situated on or at, or adjacent to, the surface of the earth:
a ground attack.
pertaining to the ground.
Military. operating on land:
verb (used with object)
to lay or set on the ground.
to place on a foundation; fix firmly; settle or establish; found.
to instruct in elements or first principles:
to ground students in science.
to furnish with a ground or background, as on decorative work.
to cover (wallpaper) with colors or other materials before printing.
Electricity. to establish a ground for (a circuit, device, etc.).
Nautical. to cause (a vessel) to run aground.
Aeronautics. to restrict (an aircraft or the like) to the ground because of bad weather, the unsatisfactory condition of the aircraft, etc.
to forbid (a pilot) to fly because of bad health, failure to comply with safety regulations, or the like.
Informal. to put out of action or make unable to participate:
The quarterback was grounded by a knee injury.
Informal. to restrict the activities, especially the social activities, of:
I can’t go to the party—my parents have grounded me until my grades improve.
verb (used without object)
to come to or strike the ground.
ground out, Baseball. to be put out at first base after hitting a ground ball to the infield.
cut the ground from under, to render (an argument, position, person, etc.) ineffective or invalid; refute:
It didn’t require much effort to cut the ground from under that case.
from the ground up,
give ground, to yield to force or forceful argument; retreat:
The disarmament talks reached an impasse when neither side would give ground on inspection proposals.
hold / stand one’s ground, to maintain one’s position; be steadfast:
The referee stood his ground, though his decision was hotly contested by the crowd.
into the ground, beyond a reasonable or necessary point:
You’ve stated your case, and you needn’t run it into the ground.
off the ground, Informal. into action or well under way:
The play never got off the ground.
on one’s own ground, in an area or situation that one knows well.
on the ground, at the place of interest or importance; actively engaged:
Minutes after the bank robbery reporters were on the ground to get the story.
shift ground, to change position in an argument or situation.
suit down to the ground, to be perfectly satisfactory; please greatly:
This climate suits me down to the ground.
take the ground, Nautical. to become grounded at low water.
the land surface
earth or soil: he dug into the ground outside his house
(pl) the land around a dwelling house or other building
(sometimes pl) an area of land given over to a purpose: football ground, burial grounds
land having a particular characteristic: level ground, high ground
matter for consideration or debate; field of research or inquiry: the lecture was familiar ground to him, the report covered a lot of ground
a position or viewpoint, as in an argument or controversy (esp in the phrases give ground, hold, stand, or shift one’s ground)
position or advantage, as in a subject or competition (esp in the phrases gain ground, lose ground, etc)
(often pl) reason; justification: grounds for complaint
the bottom of a river or the sea
(pl) sediment or dregs, esp from coffee
(mainly Brit) the floor of a room
See ground bass
a mesh or network supporting the main pattern of a piece of lace
(electrical, US & Canadian)
above ground, alive
below ground, dead and buried
break new ground, to do something that has not been done before
cut the ground from under someone’s feet, to anticipate someone’s action or argument and thus make it irrelevant or meaningless
(Brit, informal) to the ground, down to the ground, completely; absolutely: it suited him down to the ground
(informal) get off the ground, to make a beginning, esp one that is successful
go to ground, to go into hiding
into the ground, beyond what is requisite or can be endured; to exhaustion
meet someone on his own ground, to meet someone according to terms he has laid down himself
the high ground, the moral high ground, a position of moral or ethical superiority in a dispute
(modifier) situated on, living on, or used on the ground: ground frost, ground forces
(modifier) concerned with or operating on the ground, esp as distinct from in the air: ground crew, ground hostess
(modifier) (used in names of plants) low-growing and often trailing or spreading
(transitive) to put or place on the ground
(transitive) to instruct in fundamentals
(transitive) to provide a basis or foundation for; establish
(transitive) to confine (an aircraft, pilot, etc) to the ground
(transitive) (informal) to confine (a child) to the house as a punishment
the usual US word for earth (sense 16)
(transitive) (nautical) to run (a vessel) aground
(transitive) to cover (a surface) with a preparatory coat of paint
(intransitive) to hit or reach the ground
the past tense and past participle of grind
having the surface finished, thickness reduced, or an edge sharpened by grinding
reduced to fine particles by grinding
Old English grund “bottom, foundation, ground, surface of the earth,” especially “bottom of the sea” (a sense preserved in run aground), from Proto-Germanic *grundus, which seems to have meant “deep place” (cf. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish grund, Dutch grond, Old High German grunt, German Grund “ground, soil, bottom;” Old Norse grunn “a shallow place,” grund “field, plain,” grunnr “bottom”). No known cognates outside Germanic. Sense of “reason, motive” first attested c.1200; electrical sense is from 1870.
mid-13c., “to put on the ground, to strike down to the ground,” from ground (n.). Of ships, “to run into the ground,” from mid-15c. Meaning “to base” (an argument, sermon, etc.) is late 14c. Meaning “deny privileges” is 1940s, originally a punishment meted out to pilots (in which sense it is attested from 1930). Related: Grounded; grounding.
“reduced to fine particles by grinding,” 1765, past participle adjective from grind.
beat to the ground, down to the ground, not know one’s ass from one’s elbow, not know someone or something from a hole in the ground, run something into the ground, stamping ground
- Ground effect
noun 1. the improvement to the aerodynamic qualities of a low-slung motor vehicle resulting from a cushion of air beneath it
- Ground-effect machine
[ground-i-fekt] /ˈgraʊnd ɪˌfɛkt/ noun 1. (def 2).
- Ground elder
noun 1. another name for goutweed
- Ground engineer
noun 1. an engineer qualified and licensed to certify the airworthiness of an aircraft Official name licensed aircraft engineer