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Pronunciation: /swel/

Translation of swell in Spanish:

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo (past participle of/participio pasado de swollen or (American English/inglés norteamericano) , swelled)

  • 1 1.1 (grow in size) [wood/face/ankles] hincharse; [river/stream] crecer*, subir her face began to swell se le empezó a hinchar la cara his knee had swollen (up) to twice its size la rodilla se le había hinchado al doble de su tamaño normal their bellies were swollen with hunger tenían los vientres hinchados por el hambre the sails swelled (out) in the wind las velas se hinchaban al viento
    Example sentences
    • Rash, itching, body swelling, breathing difficulties, possible localised red itchy mouth and throat, and even collapse.
    • Your back aches to high heaven, your smell has turned a different kind of sour, you are hungry and the welts on your body are swelling as your pores open up again.
    • So much was going on that his eyes flashed images and his body swelled with sweat, and he didn't care about what it was, but just about when he would see it.
    1.2 (with emotion) swollen with pride henchido de orgullo she was swelling with rage estaba que estallaba de rabia
  • 2 (increase) [population/crowd] crecer*, aumentar order books are beginning to swell again los pedidos están aumentando otra vez the applause swelled to a crescendo los aplausos se fueron haciendo cada vez más fuertes

transitive verb/verbo transitivo (past participle of/participio pasado de swollen or (American English/inglés norteamericano) , swelled)

  • 1 (increase in size) [body/joint/features] hinchar; [sails] hinchar; [river] hacer* crecer or subir
  • 2 (increase in number, volume) [population/total/funds] aumentar to swell the ranks of the unemployed engrosar las filas del desempleo
    Example sentences
    • The village, its population swollen by refugees, had been thought safe by many local people.
    • The ranks of female players swelled by a similar amount to 132, up from 116 earlier in the decade.
    • Hundreds of thousands of refugees have swelled Monrovia's population to well over a million, scrabbling where they can for shelter and running short of food, water and medical supplies.


  • 1 1.1 (of sea) oleaje (masculine) a heavy swell un fuerte oleaje, una marejada 1.2 (surge, movement) oleada (feminine) a swell of indignation/interest una oleada de indignación/interés 1.3 (protuberance, curve) (no plural/sin plural) the low swell of the Welsh hills la suave ondulación de las colinas galesas the firm swell of her breasts/belly la turgencia de sus senos/su vientre [literary/literario]
  • 2 [Music/Música] (symbol) regulador (masculine); (device on organ) regulador (masculine) del registro de sonido


Phrasal verbs

swell up

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio
hincharse my/her finger swelled up se me/le hinchó el dedo

Definition of swell in:

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Cultural fact of the day

The language of the Basque Country and Navarre is euskera, spoken by around 750,000 people; in Spanish vasco or vascuence. It is also spelled euskara. Basque is unrelated to the Indo-European languages and its origins are unclear. Like Spain's other regional languages, Basque was banned under Franco. With the return of democracy, it became an official language alongside Spanish, in the regions where it is spoken. It is a compulsory school subject and is required for many official and administrative posts in the Basque Country. There is Basque language television and radio and a considerable number of books are published in Basque. See also lenguas cooficiales