from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The solid surface of the earth.
  • noun The floor of a body of water, especially the sea.
  • noun Soil; earth.
  • noun An area of land designated for a particular purpose.
  • noun The land surrounding or forming part of a house or another building.
  • noun An area or a position that is contested in or as if in battle.
  • noun Something that serves as a foundation or means of attachment for something else.
  • noun A surrounding area; a background.
  • noun The foundation for an argument, belief, or action; a basis.
  • noun The underlying condition prompting an action; a cause: synonym: base.
  • noun An area of reference or discussion; a subject.
  • noun The sediment at or from the bottom of a liquid.
  • noun Particles of ground coffee beans for use in making coffee for drinking.
  • noun A large conducting body, such as the earth or an electric circuit connected to the earth, used as an arbitrary zero of potential.
  • noun A conducting object, such as a wire, that is connected to such a position of zero potential.
  • noun A mesh background upon which patterns are worked in lace-making.
  • intransitive verb To place on or cause to touch the ground.
  • intransitive verb To provide a basis for (a theory, for example); justify.
  • intransitive verb To supply with basic information; instruct in fundamentals.
  • intransitive verb To prevent (an aircraft or a pilot) from flying.
  • intransitive verb Informal To restrict (someone) especially to a certain place as a punishment.
  • intransitive verb Electricity To connect (an electric circuit) to a ground.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To run (a vessel) aground.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To hit (a ball) onto the ground.
  • intransitive verb Football To throw (a ball) to the ground in order to stop play and avoid being tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
  • intransitive verb To touch or reach the ground.
  • intransitive verb Baseball To hit a ground ball.
  • intransitive verb Nautical To run aground.
  • idiom (drive/run) To belabor (an issue or a subject).
  • idiom (from the ground up) From the most basic level to the highest level; completely.
  • idiom (off the ground) Under way, as if in flight.
  • idiom (on (one's) own ground) In a situation where one has knowledge or competence.
  • idiom (on the ground) At a place that is exciting, interesting, or important.
  • idiom (to ground) Into a den or burrow.
  • idiom (to ground) Into hiding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To place on a foundation; found; establish firmly in position.
  • To settle or establish in any way, as on reason or principle; fix or settle firmly in existence or in thought.
  • To instruct thoroughly in elements or first principles.
  • To lay or set on or in the ground; bring to ground, or to rest on or as if on the ground.
  • Nautical, to run ashore or aground; cause to strike the ground: as, to ground a ship.
  • In electricity, to connect with the earth, as a conductor, so that the electricity can pass off to it.
  • To form a ground on or for; furnish with a ground or base. See ground, n., 10.
  • To run aground; strike the ground and remain fixed, as a ship.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English grund.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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") and gryej ("to erode, crumble").


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  • It has everything above the ground, and everything under the ground….

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) 1989

  • The country about Syracuse is neither grand nor beautiful; but the ground is _classic ground_, and Sicily has not been brought within the reach of an intercourse which, while it polishes and confers substantial benefits, removes the sacred rust of antiquity.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 363, January, 1846 Various

  • If it be true, that on the ground which I occupy, —ground which I occupy as frankly and boldly as Judge Douglas does his, —my views, though partly coinciding with yours, are not as perfectly in accordance with your feelings as his are, I do say to you in all candor, go for him and not for me.

    Second Joint Debate at Freeport. Mr. Lincoln's Rejoinder 1897

  • When cavalry is required to charge over unknown ground, it should be preceded by a few men thrown out to the front as skirmishers, in order to _scout the ground_ to be passed over.

    A Treatise on the Tactical Use of the Three Arms: Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry 1857

  • I fowed an acre on the other fide of the vrheat, with three ftone, which was a very good crop, for it branched to fiU the ground with a fine long-eared corn; it branched firom two to fix or eight ears out of a root, according to the diftarice the grains 'fell from each other, juft fo they ftooled or branched tiU they filled the ground*

    A new system of husbandry 1770

  • Before the 2001 attacks, the term ground zero was most often used to denote the center of a major explosion, often in reference to a nuclear detonation.

    Some Seeking to Move Past 'Ground Zero' Devlin Barrett 2011

  • The only way Republicans can try to gain ground is to tear down our great President and the Democratic party.

    DNC paints Pawlenty as liar 2009

  • I have always said that the only times Democrats gain ground is when Republicans overplay their hand and their true agenda shows.

    Think Progress » Duke Cunningham resigns 2005

  • Previously, the phrase "ground zero" had only one meaning: it was the spot where a nuclear explosion had occurred.

    Breaking News: CBS News 2011

  • That the likely Democratic Presidential candidate refuses to look at the facts on the ground is a measure of how tenaciously he and his party are committed to American impotence.

    Britain 2010


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  • See obscure, esoteric usage note on ùrlar.

    July 31, 2008

  • Weirdnet: (v): dance by rotating the pelvis in an erotically suggestive way, often while in contact with one's partner such that the dancers' legs are interlaced

    July 31, 2008

  • *guffaw* Oh, that has to be the weirdest WeirdNet definition ever! Good eye, pleth!

    July 31, 2008

  • I don't think that's "ground" though--I think it's grind. Could WeirdNET actually be a grandparent confused by the young generation's new fads?

    July 31, 2008

  • Anything's possible with WeirdNet. The freak. ;-)

    July 31, 2008