swell(redirected from swells)
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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?