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  • IPA(key): /ɡɹaʊnd/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English grounde, from Old English grund, from Proto-Germanic *grunduz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰr̥mtu-. Cognate with West Frisian grûn, Dutch grond and German Grund. Non-Germanic cognates include Albanian grundë (brittle earth).

Alternative formsEdit

  • GND (contraction used in electronics)


ground (countable and uncountable, plural grounds)

  1. The surface of the Earth, as opposed to the sky or water or underground.
    Look, I found a ten dollar bill on the ground!
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 23, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      If the afternoon was fine they strolled together in the park, very slowly, and with pauses to draw breath wherever the ground sloped upward. The slightest effort made the patient cough.
    • 1977, Agatha Christie, chapter 4, in An Autobiography, part II, London: Collins, →ISBN:
      Mind you, clothes were clothes in those days. [] Frills, ruffles, flounces, lace, complicated seams and gores: not only did they sweep the ground and have to be held up in one hand elegantly as you walked along, but they had little capes or coats or feather boas.
    • 2013 June 8, “The new masters and commanders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 52:
      From the ground, Colombo’s port does not look like much. Those entering it are greeted by wire fences, walls dating back to colonial times and security posts.
  2. (uncountable) Terrain.
  3. Soil, earth.
    The worm crawls through the ground.
    The fox escaped from the hounds by going to ground.
  4. (countable) The bottom of a body of water.
  5. Basis, foundation, groundwork, legwork.
  6. (chiefly in the plural) Reason, (epistemic) justification, cause.
    You will need to show good grounds for your action.
    He could not come on grounds of health, or on health grounds.
  7. Background, context, framework, surroundings.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “1/1/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days[1]:
      House Prees and Bloods [] were everywhere to be seen in earnest colloquy. For the matter was, that there was some sort of night-prowler about the school grounds.
  8. (historical) The area on which a battle is fought, particularly as referring to the area occupied by one side or the other. Often, according to the eventualities, "to give ground" or "to gain ground".
  9. (figuratively, by extension) Advantage given or gained in any contest; e.g. in football, chess, debate or academic discourse.
  10. The plain surface upon which the figures of an artistic composition are set.
    crimson flowers on a white ground
  11. In sculpture, a flat surface upon which figures are raised in relief.
  12. In point lace, the net of small meshes upon which the embroidered pattern is applied.
    Brussels ground
  13. In etching, a gummy substance spread over the surface of a metal to be etched, to prevent the acid from eating except where an opening is made by the needle.
  14. (architecture, chiefly in the plural) One of the pieces of wood, flush with the plastering, to which mouldings etc. are attached.
    Grounds are usually put up first and the plastering floated flush with them.
  15. (countable) A soccer stadium.
    Manchester United's ground is known as Old Trafford.
  16. (electricity, Canada and US) An electrical conductor connected to the earth, or a large conductor whose electrical potential is taken as zero (such as a steel chassis).
    • 1961, “GROUND”, in The International Dictionary of Physics and Electronics, 2nd edition, Princeton, NJ: D. Van Nostrand, page 539:
      А ground may be undesirable, inadvertent, or accidental path taken by an electrical current; or it may be the deliberate provision of conductors well connected to the ground by means of plates buried therein, or similar device.
  17. (countable, cricket) The area of grass on which a match is played (a cricket field); the entire arena in which it is played; the part of the field behind a batsman's popping crease where he can not be run out (hence to make one's ground).
  18. (music) A composition in which the bass, consisting of a few bars of independent notes, is continually repeated to a varying melody.
  19. (music) The tune on which descants are raised; the plain song.
    • 1592, William Shakespeare, The Life and Death of Richard III, act III, scene vii, in: The Works of Shakeſpear V (1726), page 149:
      Buck[ingham]   The Mayor is here at hand; pretend ſome fear, // Be not you ſpoke with, but by mighty ſuit; // And look you get a prayer-book in your hand, // And ſtand between two churchmen, good my lord, // For on that ground I’ll build a holy deſcant: // And be not eaſily won to our requeſts: // Play the maid’s part, ſtill anſwer nay, and take it.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Moore (Encyc.) to this entry?)
  20. The pit of a theatre.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)
  • (electricity) earth (British)
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See alsoEdit


ground (third-person singular simple present grounds, present participle grounding, simple past and past participle grounded)

  1. (US) To connect (an electrical conductor or device) to a ground.
    Synonym: earth
  2. (transitive) To punish, especially a child or teenager, by forcing him/her to stay at home and/or give up certain privileges.
    Synonym: gate
    If you don't clean your room, I'll have no choice but to ground you.
    Eric, you are grounded until further notice for lying to us about where you were last night!
    My kids are currently grounded from television.
  3. (transitive) To forbid (an aircraft or pilot) to fly.
    Because of the bad weather, all flights were grounded.
  4. To give a basic education in a particular subject; to instruct in elements or first principles.
    Jim was grounded in maths.
  5. (baseball) To hit a ground ball. Compare fly (verb(regular)) and line (verb).
    • 2019 March 21, Chris Cwik, “Ichiro Suzuki Goes Out in Style, Retires After Series in Japan”, in Yahoo! Sports[2]:
      [Ichiro Suzuki] went 0 for 4, popping out in foul territory, grounding out to second, and striking out looking. And then, in the top of the eighth inning with a runner on second, the “True Hit King” grounded out to short, just barely failing to beat it out.
    • 2019 April 10, Ben Walker (AP), “Twins Pitchers Go Wild, Syndergaard and Mets Stroll 9-6”, in Yahoo! Sports[3]:
      The Twins scored three times in the eighth to make it 9-4 and loaded the bases with no outs. Jeurys Familia got Willians Astudillo to ground into a double play, limiting the damage.
  6. (cricket) (of a batsman) to place his bat, or part of his body, on the ground behind the popping crease so as not to be run out
  7. (intransitive) To run aground; to strike the bottom and remain fixed.
    The ship grounded on the bar.
  8. To found; to fix or set, as on a foundation, reason, or principle; to furnish a ground for; to fix firmly.
  9. (fine arts) To cover with a ground, as a copper plate for etching, or as paper or other materials with a uniform tint as a preparation for ornament.
  10. To improve or focus the mental or emotional state of.
    I ground myself with meditation.

Etymology 2Edit

Inflected form of grind. See also milled.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of grind
    I ground the coffee up nicely.


ground (not comparable)

  1. Crushed, or reduced to small particles.
    Synonym: milled
    ground mustard seed
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick[4]:
      Alike, joy and sorrow, hope and fear, seemed ground to finest dust, and powdered, for the time, in the clamped mortar of Ahab's iron soul.
    • 1969, Tulane Studies in Zoology and Botany[5], volume 16, page 16:
      The intestinal contents of F. Stellifer seem finely ground in comparison to those of F. catenatus, probably as a result of chewing with the stout pharyngeal molars.
    • 2018, S Sivakumar, E Zwier, PB Meisenheimer…, “Bulk and Thin Film Synthesis of Compositionally Variant Entropy-stabilized Oxides”, in Journal of Visualized Experiments:
      Powder mixing and grinding are complete when the powder is homogenous and grey-black in color, appears finely ground, and feels smooth.
  2. Processed by grinding.
    lenses of ground glass
    • 1985, Sergeĭ Aristarkhovich Semenov, Prehistoric Technology: An Experimental Study of the Oldest Tools and Artefacts from Traces of Manufacture and Wear[6], page 14:
      the traces of wear have the appearance of dull patches that look ground.
    • 2000, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland[7], page 258:
      The axial perforation, the handle socket and the quern base are all rough and do not appear ground or polished
    • 2018, H Glimpel, HJ Lauffer, A Bremstahler, Finishing Tool, In Particular End Milling Cutter, US Patent App. 15/764,739
      An advantage of such a finishing tool is that, after the machining, the workpiece has high surface quality. The surface which is produced appears finely ground to polished by means of this procedure.
Derived termsEdit


  • ground at OneLook Dictionary Search


Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old English grund, from Proto-Germanic *grunduz.



  1. ground
  2. Earth



  • English: ground
  • Scots: grund, groond, greund