From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishswellswell1 /swel/ ●○○ verb (past tense swelled, past participle swollen /ˈswəʊlən $ ˈswoʊ-/) 🔊 🔊 1size [intransitive] (also swell up)BIG to become larger and rounder than normal – used especially about parts of the body → swollen 🔊 Her ankle was already starting to swell. 🔊 The window frame had swollen shut.2amount/number [intransitive, transitive]INCREASE IN NUMBER OR AMOUNT to increase in amount or numberswell to 🔊 The crowd swelled to around 10,000. 🔊 The river was swollen with melted snow.swell the ranks/numbers of something (=increase the number of people in a particular situation) 🔊 Large numbers of refugees have swollen the ranks of the unemployed.3 →swell with pride/anger etc4shape [intransitive, transitive] (also swell out)BIG to curve or make something curve 🔊 The wind swelled the sails.5sound [intransitive] literaryCLOUD/NOISY to become louder 🔊 Music swelled around us.6sea [intransitive]UP to move suddenly and powerfully upwards →groundswell→ See Verb table
swellswell2 noun 🔊 🔊 1[singular]TTWWATER the way the sea moves up and down 🔊 The sea wasn’t rough, but there was a heavy swell (=large movements of the water).2[singular] a situation in which something increases in number or amountswell of 🔊 the growing swell of anti-government feeling 🔊 a swell of pride3[singular]CAPM an increase in sound level, especially in music syn crescendo4[singular]ROUND the roundness or curved shape of something 🔊 the firm swell of her breasts5[countable] old-fashionedIMPORTANT a fashionable or important person
Examples from the Corpus
swell• A strong north-westerly wind built up a fifteen-foot swell which came rolling down on us, crests breaking.• A heavyswell came at them out of the thickdarkness.• The scandal has produced swells of protest against him.• One such dawn breaks at OceanBeach and the swell is up.• The launch, however, behaved like a well-trained work-horse and merely rose and fell with the swell.• the swell of her breasts• The swell had built steadily over the past half-hour.• The eternalwesterlyswell rolled lazily across our wake and wiped out the last trace of our intrusion.heavy swell• A heavy swell came at them out of the thick darkness.• The timing in the heavy swell had to be carefully judged.swellswell3 adjective American English old-fashioned 🔊 🔊 GOOD/EXCELLENTvery good syn great 🔊 You look swell!