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ground 1 (ground)
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n.
1.
a. The solid surface of the earth.
b. The floor of a body of water, especially the sea.
2. Soil; earth: level the ground for a lawn.
3. often grounds An area of land designated for a particular purpose: a burial ground; parade grounds.
4. often grounds The land surrounding or forming part of a house or another building: a guesthouse on the grounds of the mansion.
5. An area or a position that is contested in or as if in battle: The soldiers held their ground against the enemy. Character witnesses helped the defendant stand her ground in the trial.
6. Something that serves as a foundation or means of attachment for something else: a ground of white paint under the mural.
7. A surrounding area; a background.
8. often grounds The foundation for an argument, belief, or action; a basis.
9. often grounds The underlying condition prompting an action; a cause: grounds for suspicion; a ground for divorce. See Synonyms at base1.
10. An area of reference or discussion; a subject: The professor covered new ground in every lecture.
11. grounds
a. The sediment at or from the bottom of a liquid: coffee grounds.
b. Particles of ground coffee beans for use in making coffee for drinking.
12. Electricity
a. A large conducting body, such as the earth or an electric circuit connected to the earth, used to establish an arbitrary zero of potential.
b. A conducting object, such as a wire, that is connected to such a position of zero potential.
13. A mesh background upon which patterns are worked in lace-making.
v. ground·ed, ground·ing, grounds
v. tr.
1. To place on or cause to touch the ground.
2. To provide a basis for (a theory, for example); justify.
3. To supply with basic information; instruct in fundamentals.
4.
a. To prevent (an aircraft or a pilot) from flying.
b. Informal To restrict (someone) especially to a certain place as a punishment.
5. Electricity To connect (an electric circuit) to a ground.
6. Nautical To run (a vessel) aground.
7.
a. Baseball To hit (a ball) onto the ground.
b. Football To throw (a ball) to the ground in order to stop play and avoid being tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
v. intr.
1. To touch or reach the ground.
2. Baseball To hit a ground ball: grounded to the second baseman.
3. Nautical To run aground.
Phrasal Verb:
ground outBaseball
To be put out by hitting a ground ball that is fielded and thrown to first base.
Idioms:
drive(or run)into the ground
To belabor (an issue or a subject).
from the ground up
From the most basic level to the highest level; completely: designed the house from the ground up; learned the family business from the ground up.
off the ground
Under way, as if in flight: Because of legal difficulties, the construction project never got off the ground.
on (one's) own ground
In a situation where one has knowledge or competence: a sculptor back on her own ground after experiments with painting.
on the ground
At a place that is exciting, interesting, or important: a reporter who wanted to be on the ground when the story broke.
to ground
1. Into a den or burrow: a fox going to ground.
2. Into hiding.

[Middle English, from Old English grund.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
ground 2 (ground)
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v.
Past tense and past participle of grind.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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