English

Definition of ground noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    ground

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//ɡraʊnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡraʊnd//
     
    see also grind
     
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    surface of earth
  1. 1  (also the ground) [uncountable] the solid surface of the earth I found her lying on the ground. He lost his balance and fell to the ground. 2 metres above/below ground Most of the monkeys' food is found at ground level. ground forces (= soldiers that fight on land, not in the air or at sea) Houses and a luxury tourist hotel were burned to the ground (= completely destroyed, so that there is nothing left). Synonymsfloorground land earthThese are all words for the surface that you walk on.floor the surface of a room that you walk on:She was sitting on the floor watching TV.ground (often the ground) the solid surface of the earth that you walk on:I found her lying on the ground. The rocket crashed a few seconds after it left the ground.land the surface of the earth that is not sea:It was good to be back on dry land again. They fought both at sea and on land.earth (often the earth) the solid surface of the world that is made of rock, soil, sand, etc:You could feel the earth shake as the truck came closer.ground, land or earth? Ground is the normal word for the solid surface that you walk on when you are not in a building or vehicle. You can use earth if you want to draw attention to the rock, soil etc. that the ground is made of. Land is only used when you want to contrast it with the sea:the land beneath our feet feel the land shake sight ground/​earth travel by ground/​earthPatterns on/​under the floor/​ground/​earth bare floor/​ground/​earth to drop/​fall to the floor/​the ground/(the) earth to reach the floor/​the ground/​land
  2. soil
  3. 2  [uncountable] soil on the surface of the earth fertile ground for planting crops Synonymssoilmud dust clay land earth dirt groundThese are all words for the top layer of the earth in which plants grow.soil the top layer of the earth in which plants grow:Plant the seedlings in damp soil.mud wet soil that is soft and sticky:The car wheels got stuck in the mud.dust a fine powder that consists of very small pieces of rock, earth, etc:A cloud of dust rose as the truck set off.clay a type of heavy sticky soil that becomes hard when it is baked and is used to make things such as pots and bricks:The tiles are made of clay.land an area of ground, especially of a particular type:an area of rich, fertile landearth the substance that plants grow in. Earth is often used about the soil found in gardens or used for gardening:She put some earth into the pot.dirt (especially North American English) soil, especially loose soil:Pack the dirt firmly around the plants.ground an area of soil:The car got stuck in the muddy ground. They drove across miles of rough, stony ground. Ground is not used for loose soil:a handful of dry groundPatterns good/​rich soil/​land/​earth fertile/​infertile soil/​land/​ground to dig the soil/​mud/​clay/​land/​earth/​ground to cultivate the soil/​land/​ground
  4. area of land
  5. 3  [uncountable] an area of open land The kids were playing on waste ground behind the school.
  6. 4  [countable] (often in compounds) an area of land that is used for a particular purpose, activity or sport a football/recreation/sports, etc. ground ancient burial grounds see also breeding ground, dumping ground, parade ground, stamping ground, testing ground Synonymslandlot ground space plotThese words all mean an area of land that is used for a particular purpose.land an area of ground, especially one that is used for a particular purpose:agricultural landlot (North American English) a piece of land that is used or intended for a particular purpose:building lots a parking lotground an area of land that is used for a particular purpose :The kids were playing on waste ground near the school. the site of an ancient burial groundland, lot or ground?Land is used for large areas of open land in the country, especially when it is used for farming. A lot is often a smaller piece of land in a town or city, especially one intended for building or parking on. Ground is any area of open land; a ground is an area of land designed or used for a particular purpose or activity.space a large area of land that has no buildings on it:The city has plenty of open space. the wide open spaces of the Canadian prairiesplot a small piece of land used or intended for a particular purpose:She bought a small plot of land to build a house. a vegetable plotlot or plot? Either a lot or a plot can be used for building on. Only a plot can also be used for growing vegetables or burying people.Patterns an open space open/​empty/​vacant/​waste/​derelict land/​ground a/​an empty/​vacant lot/​plot
  7. 5grounds [plural] a large area of land or sea that is used for a particular purpose fishing grounds feeding grounds for birds
  8. gardens
  9. 6  grounds [plural] the land or gardens around a large building the hospital grounds The house has extensive grounds.
  10. area of knowledge/ideas
  11. 7  [uncountable] an area of interest, knowledge or ideas He managed to cover a lot of ground in a short talk. We had to go over the same ground (= talk about the same things again) in class the next day. You're on dangerous ground (= talking about ideas that are likely to offend somebody or make people angry) if you criticize his family. I thought I was on safe ground (= talking about a suitable subject) discussing music with her. He was back on familiar ground, dealing with the customers. They are fighting the Conservatives on their own ground. see also common ground, middle ground
  12. good reason
  13. 8  [countable, usually plural] ground for something/for doing something a good or true reason for saying, doing or believing something You have no grounds for complaint. What were his grounds for wanting a divorce? The case was dismissed on the grounds that there was not enough evidence. He retired from the job on health grounds. Employers cannot discriminate on grounds of age. Synonymsreasonexplanation grounds basis excuse motive justification pretextThese are all words for a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done.reason a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done; a fact that makes it right or fair to do something:He said no but he didn’t give a reason.explanation a statement, fact or situation that tells you why something has happened; a reason given for something:The most likely explanation is that his plane was delayed. She left the room abruptly without explanation.grounds (rather formal) a good or true reason for saying, doing or believing something:You have no grounds for complaint.basis (rather formal) the reason why people take a particular action:On what basis will this decision be made?excuse a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behaviour; a good reason that you give for doing something that you want to do for other reasons:Late again! What’s your excuse this time? It gave me an excuse to take the car.motive a reason that explains somebody’s behaviour:There seemed to be no motive for the murder.justification (rather formal) a good reason why something exists or is done:I can see no possible justification for any further tax increases.grounds or justification?Justification is used to talk about finding or understanding reasons for actions, or trying to explain why it is a good idea to do something. It is often used with words like little, no, some, every, without, and not any. Grounds is used more for talking about reasons that already exist, or that have already been decided, for example by law: moral/​economic grounds.pretext (rather formal) a false reason that you give for doing something, usually something bad, in order to hide the real reason:He left the party early on the pretext of having to work.Patterns (a/​an) reason/​explanation/​grounds/​basis/​excuse/​motive/​justification/​pretext for something the reason/​motive behind something on the grounds/​basis/​pretext of/​that… (a) good/​valid reason/​explanation/​grounds/​excuse/​motive/​justification
  14. in liquid
  15. 9grounds [plural] the small pieces of solid matter in a liquid that have fallen to the bottom coffee grounds
  16. electrical wire
  17. 10(North American English) (British English earth) [countable, usually singular] a wire that connects an electric circuit with the ground and makes it safe
  18. background
  19. 11[countable] a background that a design is painted or printed on pink roses on a white ground
  20. Word Originnoun Old English grund, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch grond and German Grund.Extra examples Both parties in the debate shared some common ground. Both relationships hit rocky ground. Drunkenness at work was sufficient grounds for instant dismissal. Each time he seemed to be losing the argument, he just shifted his ground. He knew he was on dangerous ground talking about money. He resigned from his post on the grounds of ill-health. He resigned on the grounds of ill health. He sat down on the ground. He stood on the hallowed ground of Yankee Stadium. Her architectural designs have broken new ground. Her eyes searched the ground. Her feet don’t reach the ground when she sits down. His evasiveness gave grounds for suspicion. His evasiveness gave grounds for the suspicion that he knew more than he was saying. His plan is too costly to ever get off the ground. I apologize if I’m going over old ground. I was angry with his blatant attempt to take the moral high ground. I was on more familiar ground now that we were talking about our own system. I’ll meet you at the football ground. Legally, we’re on very shaky ground. Many estate workers lived in cottages in the grounds of the castle. Permission to open a mine was denied on environmental grounds. Poverty is a breeding ground for terrorism. Several researchers have published articles covering this ground. She held her ground in the debate. She lived in the grounds of the castle. The atmosphere inside the ground was electric. The constable had reasonable grounds for arresting her. The doctor’s office is on the grounds of the hospital. The estuary is a breeding ground for birds and marine life. The fall of the old regime provided fertile ground for opportunism. The helicopter burst into flames when it hit the ground. The horse pawed the ground impatiently. The palace is set in extensive grounds. The plane was so overloaded it couldn’t leave the ground. The river has become a dumping ground for industrial waste. The roots may spread as far below ground as does the foliage above ground. The town stands on high ground and is not prone to flooding. The tunnel goes deep under the ground. The window is just above ground level. Thunder shook the ground. We found a patch of open ground in the middle of the woods. We just seem to be going over the same ground that we covered last year. a hole in the ground a search for middle ground between the two sides all the graves in the burial ground the broken branches which littered the ground Ground forces were deployed in the area. He lost his balance and fell to the ground. I found her lying on the ground. It was buried three metres below ground. Most of the animals’ food is found at ground level. The car got stuck in the muddy ground. The council is spending £30 000 on new equipment for the recreation ground. The ground fell away to the left of the road. The kids were playing on waste ground near the school. The local people seem to use the woods as a dumping ground for all their household waste. The plant grows to about two feet above ground. The rocket crashed a few seconds after it left the ground. The rope barely reached the ground below. There was a small patch of ground at the side of the cottage. They drove across miles of rough, stony ground. They’re building a new football ground in the town. We visited the site of an ancient burial ground.Idioms to be in a strong position in an argument, etc. because you know the facts Everyone agreed with me, so I knew I was on firm ground.
    be riveted to the spot/ground
     
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    to be so shocked or frightened that you cannot move See related entries: Fear
    to make a new discovery or do something that has not been done before see also groundbreaking
    cut the ground from under somebody’s feet
     
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    to suddenly spoil somebody’s idea or plan by doing something to stop them from continuing with it
    to fail to produce the result or the effect that you hope for; to have little success His charming smile fell on stony ground with her. The peace initiatives have already fallen on stony ground. to become more powerful or successful Sterling continues to gain ground against the dollar. gain grounddevelop
    gain/make up ground (on somebody/something)
     
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    to gradually get closer to somebody/something that is moving or making progress in an activity The police car was gaining ground on the suspects. They needed to make up ground on their competitors.
    get (something) off the ground
     
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    to start happening successfully; to make something start happening successfully Without more money, the movie is unlikely to get off the ground. to get a new company off the ground
    give/lose ground (to somebody/something)
     
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    to allow somebody/something to have an advantage; to lose an advantage for yourself They are not prepared to give ground on tax cuts. The Conservatives lost a lot of ground to the Liberal Democrats at the election.
    (British English) to hide, especially to escape somebody who is chasing you
    have/keep your feet on the ground
     
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    to have a sensible and realistic attitude to life In spite of his overnight stardom he still manages to keep his feet on the ground.
    (informal) to start doing something and continue very quickly and successfully
    1. 1to continue with your opinions or intentions when somebody is opposing you and wants you to change Don't let him persuade you—stand your ground.
    2. 2to face a situation and refuse to run away It is not easy to hold your ground in front of someone with a gun.
    keep/have your ear to the ground
     
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    to make sure that you always find out about the most recent developments in a particular situation The agent had no suitable properties on his books but promised to keep an ear to the ground for us.
    in the place where something is happening and among the people who are in the situation, especially a war On the ground, there are hopes that the fighting will soon stop. There's a lot of support for the policy on the ground.
    on neutral ground/territory
     
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    in a place that has no connection with either of the people or sides who are meeting and so does not give an advantage to either of them We decided to meet on neutral ground.
    prepare the ground (for something)
     
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    to make it possible or easier for something to be achieved The committee will prepare the ground for next month's meeting. Early experiments with rockets prepared the ground for space travel.
    run somebody/something into the ground
     
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    to make somebody work so hard that they are no longer able to work; to use something so much that it is broken
    run/drive/work yourself into the ground
     
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    to work so hard that you become extremely tired
    (usually disapproving) to change your opinion about a subject, especially during a discussion
    suit somebody down to the ground
     
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    (British English, informal) to be very convenient or acceptable for somebody This job suits me down to the ground.
    take, claim, seize, etc. the moral high ground
     
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    to claim that your side of an argument is morally better than your opponents’ side; to argue in a way that makes your side seem morally better
    thick/thin on the ground
     
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    (British English) if people or things are thick/thin on the ground, there are a lot/not many of them in a place Customers are thin on the ground at this time of year. Security officers were thick on the ground during the King’s visit.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ground