ground (n.) Look up ground at
Old English grund "bottom, foundation, ground, surface of the earth," especially "bottom of the sea" (a sense preserved in run aground), from Proto-Germanic *grundus, which seems to have meant "deep place" (cognates: Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish grund, Dutch grond, Old High German grunt, German Grund "ground, soil, bottom;" Old Norse grunn "a shallow place," grund "field, plain," grunnr "bottom"). No known cognates outside Germanic. Sense of "reason, motive" first attested c. 1200; electrical sense is from 1870.
ground (adj.) Look up ground at
"reduced to fine particles by grinding," 1765, past participle adjective from grind.
ground floor (n.) Look up ground floor at
also ground-floor, c. 1600, from ground (n.) + floor (n.); figurative use is from 1864.
ground zero (n.) Look up ground zero at
1946, originally with reference to atomic blasts. In reference to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on New York, it was in use by Sept. 13.
groundbreaking (adj.) Look up groundbreaking at
1907 as a figurative adjective, from expression to break ground, either for planting or for building; see ground (n.) + break (v.).
grounded (adj.) Look up grounded at
"learned," late 14c.; "firmly fixed or established," 1540s, past participle adjective from ground (v.). Electrical sense is from 1889. Meaning "having been denied privileges" is from 1940s. Dickens had room-ridden "confined to one's room."
grounder (n.) Look up grounder at
"one who establishes," c. 1400, agent noun from ground (v.). Baseball sense attested by 1867; earlier in cricket.
groundhog (n.) Look up groundhog at
1784, from ground (n.) + hog (n.). Also known colloquially as a whistlepig, and compare aardvark. Ground Hog Day first recorded 1871, American English.
groundless (adj.) Look up groundless at
Old English grundleas "bottomless, unfathomable, vast;" see ground (n.) + -less. Figurative sense of "unfathomable" is from early 14c. Related: Groundlessly; groundlessness.
groundling (n.) Look up groundling at
"theater patron in the pit," c. 1600, from ground (n.) in an Elizabethan sense of "pit of a theater" + -ling. From the beginning emblematic of bad or unsophisticated taste. Old English grundling was a type of fish.
grounds (n.) Look up grounds at
"residue at the bottom of a liquid," mid-14c., perhaps from past tense of grind (v.); for other senses, see ground (n.).
groundswell (n.) Look up groundswell at
1818, from ground (n.) + swell (n.). Figurative sense is attested from 1817.
groundwater (n.) Look up groundwater at
"water in the ground," also ground water, 1890, from ground (n.) + water (n.1). Attested from mid-15c. in sense "water at the bottom of a stream."
groundwork (n.) Look up groundwork at
mid-15c., from ground (n.) + work (n.). Similar formation in Middle Dutch grontwerck, Dutch grondwerk, German grundwerk. Originally "the solid base on which a structure is built;" figurative sense is from 1550s.
group (n.) Look up group at
1690s, originally an art criticism term, "assemblage of figures or objects in a painting or design," from French groupe "cluster, group" (17c.), from Italian gruppo "group, knot," perhaps ultimately from Proto-Germanic *kruppaz "round mass, lump," and related to crop. Extended to "any assemblage" by 1736. Meaning "pop music combo" is from 1958.
group (v.) Look up group at
1718 (transitive), 1801 (intransitive), from group (n.). Related: Grouped; grouping.
grouper (n.) Look up grouper at
type of fish, 1690s, from Portuguese garupa, of unknown origin, probably of South American Indian origin, perhaps from a word in Tupi.
groupie (n.) Look up groupie at
"girl who follows pop groups," 1967, from group (n.) in the pop music sense + -ie.
groupthink (n.) Look up groupthink at
1959, from group (n.) + think.
grouse (n.) Look up grouse at
type of game bird, 1530s, grows (plural, used collectively), of unknown origin, possibly from Latin or Welsh.
grouse (v.) Look up grouse at
"complain," 1885 (implied in grouser), British Army slang, of uncertain origin but perhaps from Norman French dialectal groucer, from Old French groucier "to murmur, grumble," of imitative origin (compare Greek gru "a grunt," gruzein "to grumble"). Related: Groused; grousing. As a noun from 1918, from the verb.
grout (n.) Look up grout at
1580s, "thin, fluid mortar," originally "coarse porridge," perhaps from Old English gruta (plural) "coarse meal," related to Old English grytta (see grits). As a verb from 1838. Related: grouted; grouting.
grove (n.) Look up grove at
Old English graf "grove, copse" (akin to græafa "thicket"), from Proto-Germanic *graibo-, but not certainly found in other Germanic languages and with no known cognates anywhere else.
grovel (v.) Look up grovel at
1590s, Shakespearian back-formation of groveling (Middle English), regarded as a present participle but really an adverb, from Old Norse grufe "prone" + obsolete adverbial suffix -ling (which survives also as the -long in headlong, sidelong); first element from Old Norse a grufu "on proneness." Perhaps related to creep. Related: Groveled; grovelled; groveling; grovelling.
grow (v.) Look up grow at
Old English growan (of plants) "to grow, flourish, increase, develop, get bigger" (class VII strong verb; past tense greow, past participle growen), from Proto-Germanic *gro- (cognates: Old Norse groa, Old Frisian groia, Dutch groeien, Old High German gruoen), from PIE root *ghre- (see grass). Applied in Middle English to human beings (c. 1300) and animals (early 15c.) and their parts, supplanting Old English weaxan (see wax (v.)).
Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy? ... Do you know who made you?" "Nobody, as I knows on," said the child. ... "I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me." [Harriet B. Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 1851]
grow up (v.) Look up grow up at
"advance toward maturity," 1530s, from grow (v.) + up (adv.). As a command to be sensible, from 1951. Grown-up (adj.) "mature" is from late 14c.; the noun meaning "adult person" is from 1813.
grower (n.) Look up grower at
"one who produces," mid-15c., agent noun from grow.
growing (adj.) Look up growing at
Old English, present participle adjective from grow (v.). Growing season is attested from 1729; growing pains by 1752.
growing (n.) Look up growing at
late 14c., verbal noun from grow (v.).
growl (v.) Look up growl at
1660s, from Middle English grollen "to rumble, growl" (early 15c.), from Old French grouler "to rumble," said to be from Frankish; probably ultimately of imitative origin. Related: Growled; growling. The noun is 1727, from the verb.
growler (n.) Look up growler at
pitcher or other vessel for beer, 1885, American English, of uncertain origin; apparently an agent noun from growl (v.). It owes its popularity to laws prohibiting sale of liquor on Sundays and thus the tippler's need to stock up. Also in early use in the expression work the growler "go on a spree." Also late 19c. slang for a four-wheeled cab.
grown (adj.) Look up grown at
late 14c., past participle adjective from grow (v.).
growse Look up growse at
obsolete spelling of grouse.
growth (n.) Look up growth at
1550s, from grow + -th (2), on model of health, stealth, etc. Compare Old Norse groði, from groa "to grow." In this sense, Old English used grownes.
groyne (n.) Look up groyne at
"strong, low sea wall," 1580s, perhaps from obsolete groin "pig's snout" (c. 1300; the wall so called because it was thought to look like one), from Old French groin, from Latin grunnire "grunt."
grub (v.) Look up grub at
c. 1300, from hypothetical Old English *grubbian, from West Germanic *grubbjan (cognates: Middle Dutch grobben, Old High German grubilon "to dig, search," German grübeln "to meditate, ponder"), from Proto-Germanic *grub- "to dig," base of Old English grafan (see grave (v.)).
grub (n.) Look up grub at
"larva," early 15c., perhaps from grub (v.) on the notion of "digging insect," or from the possibly unrelated Middle English grub "dwarfish fellow" (c. 1400). Meaning "dull drudge" is 1650s. The slang sense of "food" is first recorded 1650s, said to be from birds eating grubs, but also often linked with bub "drink."
grubber (n.) Look up grubber at
"digger," late 13c. as a surname, agent noun from grub (v.). Meaning "one who gets wealth contemptibly" is from 1570s.
grubby (adj.) Look up grubby at
"dirty," by 1845, from grub (n.) in a sense of "dirty child" (who presumably got that way from digging in earth) + -y (2). Earlier it was used in a sense of "stunted, dwarfish" (1610s) and "infested with grubs" (1725). Related: Grubbily; grubbiness.
grubelsucht (n.) Look up grubelsucht at
1876, from German Grübelsucht, psychiatric term for "a form of obsession in which even the simplest facts are compulsively queried," from grübeln "to brood" (see grub (v.)) + sucht "mania."
grubstake (n.) Look up grubstake at
"material, provisions, etc. supplied to an enterprise (originally a prospector) in return for a share in the profits," by 1876, American English, from grub + stake (v.).
grubstreet Look up grubstreet at
1620s, "originally the name of a street in Moorfields in London, much inhabited by writers of small histories, dictionaries, and temporary poems; whence any mean production is called grubstreet" [Johnson]. Name changed 1830 to Milton Street (after a local developer) then erased entirely 1970s by the Barbicon complex.
grudge (v.) Look up grudge at
mid-15c., "to murmur, complain," variant of grutch. Meaning "to begrudge" is c. 1500. Related: Grudged; grudges; grudging; grudgingly. The noun is mid-15c., from the verb.
gruel (n.) Look up gruel at
late 12c., "meal or flour made of beans, lentils, etc.," from Old French gruel "fine meal," from Frankish *grut (cognate with Middle Dutch grute "coarse meal, malt;" Middle High German gruz "grain"), from PIE *ghreu- "to rub, grind" (see grit). Meaning "thin porridge or soup" is late 14c.
gruelling (adj.) Look up gruelling at
also grueling, "exhausting, punishing," 1891, from late 18c. slang get one's gruel "receive one's punishment," from gruel.
gruesome (adj.) Look up gruesome at
1560s, with -some (1) + Middle English gruen "feel horror, shudder" (c. 1300); not recorded in Old English or Norse, possibly from Middle Dutch gruwen or Middle Low German gruwen "shudder with fear" (compare German grausam "cruel"), or from a Scandinavian source (such as Danish grusom "cruel," grue "to dread," though others hold that these are Low German loan-words). One of the many Scottish words popularized in England by Scott's novels.
gruff (adj.) Look up gruff at
1530s, "coarse, coarse-grained," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German grof "coarse (in quality), thick, large," of uncertain origin, regarded by some as related to Old English hreof, Old Norse hrjufr "rough, scabby," with Germanic completive prefix ga-. Sense of "rough, surly" recorded by 1690s. Related: Gruffness.
gruffly (adv.) Look up gruffly at
1700, from gruff + -ly (2).
grumble (v.) Look up grumble at
1580s, from Middle French grommeler "mutter between the teeth" or directly from Middle Dutch grommelen "murmur, mutter, grunt," from grommen "to rumble, growl." Imitative, or perhaps akin to grim. Related: Grumbled; grumbling.
grumble (n.) Look up grumble at
1620s, from grumble (v.).