- 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[singular] (formal) the curved shape of something, especially a part of the body the firm swell of her breasts
- 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[singular] (of music or noise) a gradual increase in the volume of something synonym crescendo
- 5(old-fashioned) (informal) an important or fashionable person