ground - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [singular/uncountable] the top part of the Earth’s surface that people walk on

    I fell to the ground.

    on the ground:

    People were sitting on the ground in small groups.

    above/below ground:

    They were working 250 metres below ground.

    1. a.
      [singular] the layer of soil and rock that forms the Earth’s surface

      the destruction caused by getting coal out of the ground

       Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      [singular/uncountable] the soil nearest the Earth’s surface in which you can grow plants

      Prepare the ground for planting.

       Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [uncountable] an area of land

    an acre of ground

    open ground (=an area of land without trees or buildings):

    She had to cross open ground to get to the sea.

    waste ground (=an area of land that is not used for anything):

    a piece of waste ground about 60 feet square

    1. a.
      [countable] an area of land and the structures on it that are intended to be used for a particular purpose

      soldiers on the parade ground

    2. c.


      [plural] the land, gardens, and lawn that surround a large house or other building

      She found him wandering around the grounds.

  3. 3
    [countable] [usually plural] a reason for what you say or do, or for being allowed to say or do something
    ground for:

    There do seem to be some grounds for their complaints.

    reasonable grounds:

    He believes he has reasonable grounds for making the demand.

    on (the) grounds of:

    The Act prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status.

    on medical/legal/financial etc grounds:

    The army turned him down on medical grounds.

    on the grounds that:

    They oppose the bill on the grounds that it is too restrictive.

  4. 4
    [singular/uncountable] the subject, idea, or information being talked about or written about

    Henry seems anxious to return to more familiar ground.

    cover ground:

    We’ll be covering a lot of new ground in today’s lecture.

    go (back) over the same ground:

    There’s no point in going over the same ground twice.

  5. 5
    [singular/uncountable] an environment in which ideas can develop
    fertile ground:

    Germany in the 1920s and 30s was fertile ground for such ideas.

  6. 6
    [singular/uncountable] someone’s set of opinions or attitudes
    the moral high ground (=opinions or standards that are morally better than other people’s):

    It’s a bit late to start claiming the moral high ground.

    See also middle ground
  7. 7
    [uncountable] the level of success or progress that someone or something has achieved
    lose/gain ground:

    Most stock markets lost ground after their recent gains.

    regain ground:

    In Athenian politics, democratic views had been regaining ground.

  8. 8
    [countable] American an electrical earth
  9. 9
    [countable] art a colour used as a background or first layer on a painting, drawing etc
  10. 10


    [plural] extremely small pieces of crushed coffee beans, especially after they have been used for making a drink of coffee
See also