American English

Definition of swell noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, usually singular] the movement of the ocean when it rises and falls without the waves breaking The boat was caught in a heavy (= strong) swell.
  2. 2[singular] (formal) the curved shape of something, especially a part of the body the firm swell of her breasts
  3. 3[singular] a situation in which something increases in size, number, strength, etc. a growing swell of support a swell of pride see also groundswell
  4. 4[singular] (of music or noise) a gradual increase in the volume of something synonym crescendo
  5. 5(old-fashioned) (informal) an important or fashionable person
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: swell

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