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swell - definition and synonyms


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verb swell pronunciation in British English /swel/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleswelling
past tenseswelled
past participleswollen
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  1. 1



    swell up

    [intransitive] to become larger than normal, usually because of liquid collecting inside
    My ankles tend to swell when I travel by air.
    Moisture causes the timber to swell.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something larger than normal
      be swollen with something: The river was swollen with rain.
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to increase in amount or number
    Attendance figures have swollen to 37,000 this season.
    1. a.
      [transitive] to make something increase
      Holidaymakers swell the local population in summer.
  3. 3
    [intransitive] literary to become gradually louder
    The shouts swelled to a roar.
  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] mainly literary someone who swells with pride, joy etc feels extremely proud or happy


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a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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