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To bulge or protrude outward. The spot on his head swelled out where he had been hit by the baseball. After the flooding, the walls in the basement began swelling out with excess moisture.
1. To become large, inflated, or bulging. The girl's arm swelled up where the bee had stung her. The balloon began swelling up with hot air.
2. To become full to capacity (with some emotion). I swelled up with pride after the boss complimented my work. It's so nice seeing all those students swelling up with happiness as they cross the stage and receive their diplomas.
have a swelled head
To be conceited, arrogant, or self-aggrandizing. Cheryl has such a big head on her, all she ever talks about is herself. Janice has had a bit of a big head ever since she got that promotion.
1. To become inflated or bulging with something. The girl's arm swelled with fluid as a result of the injury. The balloon began swelling with hot air.
2. To become filled with some emotion. I swelled with pride after the boss complimented my work. It's so nice seeing all those students swelling with happiness as they cross the stage and receive their diplomas.
See also: swell
old-fashioned Very nice; excellent. That's a swell idea, Frank. Thanks for the books, Mom, they're swell!
to bulge outward; to expand outward. The sides of the box swelled out because it was too full. The west wall of the garage swelled out just before the building collapsed.
to enlarge; to inflate; to bulge out. I struck my thumb with a hammer and it swelled up something awful.
swell with something
1. Lit. to expand from a particular cause. My knee joints swelled with arthritis, His nose swelled after it was struck by the door.
2. Fig. to seem to swell with a feeling such as pride. His chest swelled with pride at the thought of his good performance. Ted swelled with pride at the announcement.
See also: swell
Fig. a state of being conceited. (Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) John got a swelled head after he won the prize. Don't get a swelled head from all this success.
swelled head, have a
Be conceited, as in Winning all those prizes has not given her a swelled head, at least not yet. This idiom began as be swellheaded, first recorded in 1817. The present form dates from about 1860. For a synonym see big head.
1. To become swollen: I put ice on my injured ankle so that it wouldn't swell up.
2. To become filled, as with pride, arrogance, or anger: The new parents swelled up with pride.
3. To rise or surge from an inner source: After I was fired unjustly, rage swelled up within me.
mod. fine; excellent. (Also sarcastic use.) Where did you get that swell hat?
swelled head, to have a
To be conceited. The image conveyed is that of having one’s self-importance augment one’s head size. The term dates from the nineteenth century. J. J. Cooper used it with appropriate disgust (Simon Suggs’ Adventures, 1845): “They’re all a pack of d——d swell-heads.”