verb (used without object), swelled, swollen or swelled, swelling.
to grow in bulk, as by the absorption of moisture or the processes of growth.
Pathology. to increase abnormally in size, as by inflation, distention, accumulation of fluids, or the like:
Her ankles swelled from standing.
to rise in waves, as the sea.
to well up, as a spring or as tears.
to bulge out, as a sail or the middle of a cask.
to grow in amount, degree, force, etc.
to increase gradually in volume or intensity, as sound:
The music swelled.
to arise and grow within one, as a feeling or emotion.
to become puffed up with pride.
verb (used with object), swelled, swollen or swelled, swelling.
to cause to grow in bulk.
to cause to increase gradually in loudness:
to swell a musical tone.
to cause (a thing) to bulge out or be protuberant.
to increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
to affect with a strong, expansive emotion.
to puff up with pride.
the act of swelling or the condition of being swollen.
inflation or distention.
a protuberant part.
a wave, especially when long and unbroken, or a series of such waves.
a gradually rising elevation of the land.
an increase in amount, degree, force, etc.
a gradual increase in loudness of sound.
a gradual increase (crescendo) followed by a gradual decrease (diminuendo) in loudness or force of musical sound.
the sign (< >) for indicating this.
a device, as in an organ, by which the loudness of tones may be varied.
a swelling of emotion within one.
a fashionably dressed person; dandy.
a socially prominent person.
(of things) stylish; elegant:
a swell hotel.
(of persons) fashionably dressed or socially prominent.
a swell party.
verb swells, swelling, swelled, swollen, swelled
to grow or cause to grow in size, esp as a result of internal pressure Compare contract (sense 1), contract (sense 3)
to expand or cause to expand at a particular point or above the surrounding level; protrude
to grow or cause to grow in size, amount, intensity, or degree: the party is swelling with new recruits
to puff or be puffed up with pride or another emotion
(intransitive) (of seas or lakes) to rise in waves
(intransitive) to well up or overflow
(transitive) to make (a musical phrase) increase gradually in volume and then diminish
the undulating movement of the surface of the open sea
a succession of waves or a single large wave
a swelling or being swollen; expansion
an increase in quantity or degree; inflation
a bulge; protuberance
a gentle hill
(informal) a person very fashionably dressed
(informal) a man of high social or political standing
(music) a crescendo followed by an immediate diminuendo
(music) Also called swell organ
a set of pipes on an organ housed in a box (swell box) fitted with a shutter operated by a pedal, which can be opened or closed to control the volume
the manual on an organ controlling this Compare choir (sense 4), great (sense 21)
(informal) stylish or grand
(slang) excellent; first-class
noun 1. an inordinately grand opinion of oneself; conceit. swelled head noun 1. (informal) an inflated view of one’s own worth, often caused by sudden success sweet-tooth
noun 1. an inordinately grand opinion of oneself; conceit. swelled-headed adjective 1. (informal) conceited swelled head noun 1. (informal) an inflated view of one’s own worth, often caused by sudden success sweet-tooth
noun, plural (especially collectively) swellfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) swellfishes. 1. puffer (def 2). noun (pl) -fish, -fishes 1. a popular name for puffer (sense 2)
noun, Furniture. 1. a horizontally convex front, as of a chest of drawers.