Definitions

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

  • n. A sudden gathering of force, as of public opinion: a groundswell of antiwar sentiment.
  • n. A broad deep undulation of the ocean, often caused by a distant storm or an earthquake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A broad undulation of the open ocean, often as the result of a distant disturbance
  • n. A broadly-based shifting of public opinion

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A broad, deep swell or undulation of the ocean, caused by a long continued gale, and felt even at a remote distance after the gale has ceased.
  • n. A long, deep wave in the sea, sometimes caused by distant winds or storms.
  • n. A rising sentiment of support or enthusiasm, especially among the general public.
  • n. See under Ground.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete variant of groundsel.
  • n. A broad, deep swell or rolling of the sea, occasioned by a distant storm or heavy gale, and sometimes also by distant seismic disturbances: sometimes used figuratively of a rolling surface of country, and also of a rising wave of sound or of emotion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a broad and deep undulation of the ocean
  • n. an obvious change of public opinion or political sentiment that occurs without leadership or overt expression

Etymologies

ground + swell (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To convey these values, the Obama campaign claims to be taking grass-roots organizing to a new level, harnessing what they describe as a groundswell of enthusiasm.

    Hullabaloo

  • The SACBC also called attention to what it described as a groundswell of discontent building up in the coloured community especially in the Western and Northern Cape.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The column is about how there is a so-called groundswell to President Obama's alleged

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • B-to-b marketers see these examples and think, "The groundswell is a consumer phenomenon; it doesn't happen in business."

    undefined

  • It will meld social software into the larger BI platform capabilities to tap into what Gartner calls a groundswell of interest in informal collaboration.

    InfoWorld RSS Feed

  • When taking customer feedback, important to double-back to create evangelists called the groundswell that succeeded in reviving the TV show "Jericho"'squeeky wheels' The revival failed.

    The Flack

  • Insiders say that at the council's last meeting on 16 July there was a "groundswell" of support among County FA members for a return to the days when the chair would be appointed from within their own august ranks.

    Football Association shareholders pass on chance of reform

  • But apparently the "groundswell" that Bonner promised to generate against clean energy legislation wasn't quite strong enough, so Bonner's staff guy on the project resorted to forgery.

    Carl Pope: The Forger's Dilemma

  • But you really have to wonder, when this is the relatively routine stock-in-trade of firms like Bonner, why members of Congress pay any attention -- they may not know that such letters are forged, but they're far too smart not to know how phony the "groundswell" of public opinion they allege to represent is.

    Carl Pope: The Forger's Dilemma

  • Anyway, in 2004, a "groundswell" of new voters was also predicted by the Left.

    John Wihbey: Indecisions 2000 and 2004: Final Days Remembered

Comments

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  • prelude to an earthburst?

    April 5, 2012

  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    noun
    Date: 1786
    1.usually ground swell : a broad deep undulation of the ocean caused by an often distant gale or seismic disturbance
    2: a rapid spontaneous growth (as of political opinion) a groundswell of support

    January 30, 2008