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ground Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the solid part of the earth's surface
    dry land; land; terra firma; earth; solid ground.
    • the plane turned away from the sea and moved back over land
    • the earth shook for several minutes
    • he dropped the logs on the ground
  2. noun a rational motive for a belief or action
    • the reason that war was declared
    • the grounds for their declaration
  3. noun the loose soft material that makes up a large part of the land surface
    • they dug into the earth outside the church
  4. noun a relation that provides the foundation for something
    footing; basis.
    • they were on a friendly footing
    • he worked on an interim basis
  5. noun a position to be won or defended in battle (or as if in battle)
    • they gained ground step by step
    • they fought to regain the lost ground
  6. noun the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground
    • he posed her against a background of rolling hills
  7. noun material in the top layer of the surface of the earth in which plants can grow (especially with reference to its quality or use)
    soil; land.
    • the land had never been plowed
    • good agricultural soil
  8. noun a relatively homogeneous percept extending back of the figure on which attention is focused
  9. noun a connection between an electrical device and a large conducting body, such as the earth (which is taken to be at zero voltage)
  10. noun (art) the surface (as a wall or canvas) prepared to take the paint for a painting
  11. noun the first or preliminary coat of paint or size applied to a surface
    primer coat; flat coat; undercoat; priming coat; primer; priming.
  12. verb fix firmly and stably
    • anchor the lamppost in concrete
  13. verb confine or restrict to the ground
    • After the accident, they grounded the plane and the pilot
  14. verb place or put on the ground
  15. verb instruct someone in the fundamentals of a subject
  16. verb bring to the ground
    run aground; strand.
    • the storm grounded the ship
  17. verb hit or reach the ground
    run aground.
  18. verb throw to the ground in order to stop play and avoid being tackled behind the line of scrimmage
  19. verb hit a groundball
    • he grounded to the second baseman
  20. verb hit onto the ground
  21. verb cover with a primer; apply a primer to
    prime; undercoat.
  22. verb connect to a ground
    • ground the electrical connections for safety reasons
  23. verb use as a basis for; found on
    found; base; establish.
    • base a claim on some observation
  24. verb press or grind with a crushing noise
    crunch; grind; cranch; craunch.
  25. verb make a grating or grinding sound by rubbing together
    grate; grind.
    • grate one's teeth in anger
  26. verb work hard
    moil; travail; dig; grind; labour; drudge; toil; labor; fag.
    • She was digging away at her math homework
    • Lexicographers drudge all day long
  27. verb 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
  28. verb reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading
    crunch; bray; mash; comminute; grind.
    • grind the spices in a mortar
    • mash the garlic
  29. verb created by grinding
    • grind designs into the glass bowl
  30. verb shape or form by grinding
    • grind lenses for glasses and cameras

Ground noun
OE. ground, grund, AS. grund; akin to D. grond, OS., G., Sw., & Dan. grund, Icel. grunnr bottom, Goth. grundus (in composition); perh. orig. meaning, dust, gravel, and if so perh. akin to E. grind.
  1. The surface of the earth; the outer crust of the globe, or some indefinite portion of it.
    There was not a man to till the ground. Gen. ii. 5.
    The fire ran along upon the ground. Ex. ix. 23.
    Hence: A floor or pavement supposed to rest upon the earth.
  2. Any definite portion of the earth's surface; region; territory; country. Hence: A territory appropriated to, or resorted to, for a particular purpose; the field or place of action; as, a hunting or fishing ground; a play ground.
    From . . . old Euphrates, to the brook that parts Egypt from Syrian ground. Milton.
  3. Land; estate; possession; field; esp. (pl.), the gardens, lawns, fields, etc., belonging to a homestead; as, the grounds of the estate are well kept.
    Thy next design is on thy neighbor's grounds. Dryden. 4.
  4. The basis on which anything rests; foundation. Hence: The foundation of knowledge, belief, or conviction; a premise, reason, or datum; ultimate or first principle; cause of existence or occurrence; originating force or agency; as, the ground of my hope.
  5. (Paint. & Decorative Art) (a) That surface upon which the figures of a composition are set, and which relieves them by its plainness, being either of one tint or of tints but slightly contrasted with one another; as, crimson Bowers on a white ground. See Background, Foreground, and Middle-ground. (b) In sculpture, a flat surface upon which figures are raised in relief. (c) In point lace, the net of small meshes upon which the embroidered pattern is applied; as, Brussels ground. See Brussels lace, under Brussels.
  6. (Etching) A gummy composition 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.
  7. (Arch.) One of the pieces of wood, flush with the plastering, to which moldings, etc., are attached; -- usually in the plural. ✍ Grounds are usually put up first and the plastering floated flush with them.
  8. (Mus.) (a) A composition in which the bass, consisting of a few bars of independent notes, is continually repeated to a varying melody. (b) The tune on which descants are raised; the plain song. Moore (Encyc.).
    On that ground I'll build a holy descant. Shak.
  9. (Elec.) A conducting connection with the earth, whereby the earth is made part of an electrical circuit.
  10. pl. Sediment at the bottom of liquors or liquids; dregs; lees; feces; as, coffee grounds.
  11. The pit of a theater. Obs. B. Jonson.
Ground transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Grounded; present participle & verbal noun Grounding
  1. To lay, set, or run, on the ground.
  2. To found; to fix or set, as on a foundation, reason, or principle; to furnish a ground for; to fix firmly.
    Being rooted and grounded in love. Eph. iii. 17.
    So far from warranting any inference to the existence of a God, would, on the contrary, ground even an argument to his negation. Sir W. Hamilton
  3. To instruct in elements or first principles.
  4. (Elec.) To connect with the ground so as to make the earth a part of an electrical circuit.
  5. (Fine Arts) To cover with a ground, as a copper plate for etching (see Ground, n., 5); or as paper or other materials with a uniform tint as a preparation for ornament.
Ground intransitive verb
  1. To run aground; to strike the bottom and remain fixed; as, the ship grounded on the bar.
  1. imp. & p. p. of Grind.

Webster 1913