Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Swell

Swell

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp.
Swelled
;
p. p.
Swelled
or
Swollen
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Swelling
.]
[AS.
swellan
; akin to D.
zwellen
, OS. & OHG.
swellan
, G.
schwellen
, Icel.
svella
, Sw.
svälla
.]
1.
To grow larger; to dilate or extend the exterior surface or dimensions, by matter added within, or by expansion of the inclosed substance;
as, the legs
swell
in dropsy; a bruised part
swells
; a bladder
swells
by inflation.
2.
To increase in size or extent by any addition; to increase in volume or force;
as, a river
swells
, and overflows its banks; sounds
swell
or diminish.
3.
To rise or be driven into waves or billows; to heave;
as, in tempest, the ocean
swells
into waves
.
4.
To be puffed up or bloated;
as, to
swell
with pride
.
You
swell
at the tartan, as the bull is said to do at scarlet.
Sir W. Scott.
5.
To be inflated; to belly;
as, the sails
swell
.
6.
To be turgid, bombastic, or extravagant;
as,
swelling
words; a
swelling
style.
7.
To protuberate; to bulge out;
as, a cask
swells
in the middle
.
8.
To be elated; to rise arrogantly.
Your equal mind yet
swells
not into state.
Dryden.
9.
To grow upon the view; to become larger; to expand.
“Monarchs to behold the swelling scene!”
Shak.
10.
To become larger in amount;
as, many little debts added,
swell
to a great amount
.
11.
To act in a pompous, ostentatious, or arrogant manner; to strut; to look big.
Here he comes,
swelling
like a turkey cock.
Shakespeare

Swell

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To increase the size, bulk, or dimensions of; to cause to rise, dilate, or increase;
as, rains and dissolving snow
swell
the rivers in spring; immigration
swells
the population
.
[The Church]
swells
her high, heart-cheering tone.
Keble.
2.
To aggravate; to heighten.
It is low ebb with his accuser when such peccadilloes are put to
swell
the charge.
Atterbury.
3.
To raise to arrogance; to puff up; to inflate;
as, to be
swelled
with pride or haughtiness
.
4.
(Mus.)
To augment gradually in force or loudness, as the sound of a note.

Swell

,
Noun.
1.
The act of swelling.
2.
Gradual increase.
Specifically:
(a)
Increase or augmentation in bulk; protuberance.
(b)
Increase in height; elevation; rise.
Little River affords navigation during a
swell
to within three miles of the Miami.
Jefferson.
(c)
Increase of force, intensity, or volume of sound.
Music arose with its voluptuous
swell
.
Byron.
(d)
Increase of power in style, or of rhetorical force.
The
swell
and subsidence of his periods.
Landor.
3.
A gradual ascent, or rounded elevation, of land;
as, an extensive plain abounding with little
swells
.
4.
A wave, or billow; especially, a succession of large waves; the roll of the sea after a storm;
as, a heavy
swell
sets into the harbor
.
The
swell

Of the long waves that roll in yonder bay.
Tennyson.
The gigantic
swells
and billows of the snow.
Hawthorne.
5.
(Mus.)
A gradual increase and decrease of the volume of sound; the crescendo and diminuendo combined; – generally indicated by the sign.
6.
A showy, dashing person; a dandy.
[Slang]
Ground swell
.
See under
Ground
.
Organ swell
(Mus.)
,
a certain number of pipes inclosed in a box, the uncovering of which by means of a pedal produces increased sound.
Swell shark
(Zool.)
,
a small shark (
Scyllium ventricosum
) of the west coast of North America, which takes in air when caught, and swells up like a swellfish.

Swell

,
Adj.
Having the characteristics of a person of rank and importance; showy; dandified; distinguished;
as, a
swell
person; a
swell
neighborhood.
[Slang]
Swell mob
.
See under
Mob
.
[Slang]

Definition 2022


swell

swell

English

Verb

swell (third-person singular simple present swells, present participle swelling, simple past swelled, past participle swollen or swelled)

  1. (intransitive) To become bigger, especially due to being engorged.
    • Shakespeare
      Monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
  2. (transitive) To cause to become bigger.
    Rains and dissolving snow swell the rivers in spring.
    • Atterbury
      It is low ebb with his accuser when such peccadilloes are put to swell the charge.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre:
      For this scene, a large number of supers are engaged, and in order to further swell the crowd, practically all the available stage hands have to ‘walk on’ dressed in various coloured dominoes, and all wearing masks.
    • 2013 June 18, Simon Romero, "Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders," New York Times (retrieved 21 June 2013):
      After a harsh police crackdown last week fueled anger and swelled protests, President Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla who was imprisoned under the dictatorship and has now become the target of pointed criticism herself, tried to appease dissenters by embracing their cause on Tuesday.
  3. (intransitive) To grow gradually in force or loudness.
    The organ music swelled.
  4. (transitive) To raise to arrogance; to puff up; to inflate.
    to be swelled with pride or haughtiness
  5. (intransitive) To be raised to arrogance.
    • Shakespeare
      Here he comes, swelling like a turkey cock.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      You swell at the tartan, as the bull is said to do at scarlet.
  6. To be elated; to rise arrogantly.
    • Dryden
      Your equal mind yet swells not into state.
  7. To be turgid, bombastic, or extravagant.
    swelling words; a swelling style
  8. To protuberate; to bulge out.
    A cask swells in the middle.

Translations

Noun

swell (countable and uncountable, plural swells)

  1. The act of swelling.
  2. Increase of power in style, or of rhetorical force.
    • Landor:
      the swell and subsidence of his periods
  3. A long series of ocean waves, generally produced by wind, and lasting after the wind has ceased.
  4. (music) A gradual crescendo followed by diminuendo.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
  5. (music) A device for controlling the volume of a pipe organ.
  6. (music) A division in a pipe organ, usually the largest enclosed division.
  7. A hillock or similar raised area of terrain.
    • 1909, Joseph A. Altsheler, The Last of the Chiefs, ch. 2:
      Off on the crest of a swell a moving figure was seen now and then. "Antelope," said the hunters.
  8. (informal) A person who is dressed in a fancy or elegant manner.
    • c. 1850, William Makepeace Thackeray, "The Kickleburys on the Rhine" in The Christmas Books of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh:
      It costs him no more to wear all his ornaments about his distinguished person than to leave them at home. If you can be a swell at a cheap rate, why not?
    • 1887, Horatio Alger, The Cash Boy, ch. 9:
      He was dressed in a flashy style, not unlike what is popularly denominated a swell.
  9. (informal) A person of high social standing; an important person.
    • 1864, Anthony Trollope, The Small House at Allington, ch. 2:
      "I am not in Mr Crosbie's confidence. He is in the General Committee Office, I know; and, I believe, has pretty nearly the management of the whole of it." . . .
      "I'll tell you what he is, Bell; Mr Crosbie is a swell." And Lilian Dale was right; Mr Crosbie was a swell.
    • 1906, Gilbert Parker, The Trespasser, ch. 8:
      You buy a lot of Indian or halfbreed loafers with beaver-skins and rum, go to the Mount of the Burning Arrows, and these fellows dance round you and call you one of the lost race, the Mighty Men of the Kimash Hills. And they'll do that while the rum lasts. Meanwhile you get to think yourself a devil of a swell—you and the gods!

Synonyms

  • (person dressed in a fancy or elegant manner): dandy, dude, toff
  • (person of high social standing): toff

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

swell (not generally comparable, comparative sweller, superlative swellest)

  1. (US, informal, now somewhat dated or ironic) Excellent.
    • 2012, Ariel Levy, "The Space In Between", The New Yorker, 10 Sep 2012:
      Orgasms are swell, but they are not the remedy to every injustice.

Translations

Anagrams


Portuguese

Noun

swell m (plural swells)

  1. (surfing) swell (series of waves)