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1. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48
ground \ground\ (ground), n. [OE. ground, grund, AS. grund; akin
   to D. grond, OS., G., Sw., & Dan. grund, Icel. grunnr bottom,
   Goth. grundus (in composition); perh. orig. meaning, dust,
   gravel, and if so perh. akin to E. grind.]
   1. The surface of the earth; the outer crust of the globe, or
      some indefinite portion of it.
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            There was not a man to till the ground. --Gen. ii.
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            The fire ran along upon the ground.   --Ex. ix. 23.
      Hence: A floor or pavement supposed to rest upon the
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   2. Any definite portion of the earth's surface; region;
      territory; country. Hence: A territory appropriated to, or
      resorted to, for a particular purpose; the field or place
      of action; as, a hunting or fishing ground; a play ground.
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            From . . . old Euphrates, to the brook that parts
            Egypt from Syrian ground.             --Milton.
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   3. Land; estate; possession; field; esp. (pl.), the gardens,
      lawns, fields, etc., belonging to a homestead; as, the
      grounds of the estate are well kept.
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            Thy next design is on thy neighbor's grounds.
                                                  --Dryden. 4.
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   4. The basis on which anything rests; foundation. Hence: The
      foundation of knowledge, belief, or conviction; a premise,
      reason, or datum; ultimate or first principle; cause of
      existence or occurrence; originating force or agency; as,
      the ground of my hope.
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   5. (Paint. & Decorative Art)
      (a) That surface upon which the figures of a composition
          are set, and which relieves them by its plainness,
          being either of one tint or of tints but slightly
          contrasted with one another; as, crimson Bowers on a
          white ground. See Background, Foreground, and
      (b) In sculpture, a flat surface upon which figures are
          raised in relief.
      (c) In point lace, the net of small meshes upon which the
          embroidered pattern is applied; as, Brussels ground.
          See Brussels lace, under Brussels.
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   6. (Etching) A gummy composition spread over the surface of a
      metal to be etched, to prevent the acid from eating except
      where an opening is made by the needle.
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   7. (Arch.) One of the pieces of wood, flush with the
      plastering, to which moldings, etc., are attached; --
      usually in the plural.
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   Note: Grounds are usually put up first and the plastering
         floated flush with them.
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   8. (Mus.)
      (a) A composition in which the bass, consisting of a few
          bars of independent notes, is continually repeated to
          a varying melody.
      (b) The tune on which descants are raised; the plain song.
          --Moore (Encyc.).
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                On that ground I'll build a holy descant.
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   9. (Elec.) A conducting connection with the earth, whereby
      the earth is made part of an electrical circuit.
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   10. pl. Sediment at the bottom of liquors or liquids; dregs;
       lees; feces; as, coffee grounds.
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   11. The pit of a theater. [Obs.] --B. Jonson.
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   Ground angling, angling with a weighted line without a

   Ground annual (Scots Law), an estate created in land by a
      vassal who instead of selling his land outright reserves
      an annual ground rent, which becomes a perpetual charge
      upon the land.

   Ground ash. (Bot.) See Groutweed.

   Ground bailiff (Mining), a superintendent of mines.

   Ground bait, bits of bread, boiled barley or worms, etc.,
      thrown into the water to collect the fish, --Wallon.

   Ground bass or Ground base (Mus.), fundamental base; a
      fundamental base continually repeated to a varied melody.

   Ground beetle (Zool.), one of numerous species of
      carnivorous beetles of the family Carabid[ae], living
      mostly in burrows or under stones, etc.

   Ground chamber, a room on the ground floor.

   Ground cherry. (Bot.)
       (a) A genus (Physalis) of herbaceous plants having an
           inflated calyx for a seed pod: esp., the strawberry
           tomato (Physalis Alkekengi). See Alkekengl.
       (b) A European shrub (Prunus Cham[ae]cerasus), with
           small, very acid fruit.

   Ground cuckoo. (Zool.) See Chaparral cock.

   Ground cypress. (Bot.) See Lavender cotton.

   Ground dove (Zool.), one of several small American pigeons
      of the genus Columbigallina, esp. C. passerina of the
      Southern United States, Mexico, etc. They live chiefly on
      the ground.

   Ground fish (Zool.), any fish which constantly lives on the
      botton of the sea, as the sole, turbot, halibut.

   Ground floor, the floor of a house most nearly on a level
      with the ground; -- called also in America, but not in
      England, the first floor.

   Ground form (Gram.), the stem or basis of a word, to which
      the other parts are added in declension or conjugation. It
      is sometimes, but not always, the same as the root.

   Ground furze (Bot.), a low slightly thorny, leguminous
      shrub (Ononis arvensis) of Europe and Central Asia,; --
      called also rest-harrow.

   Ground game, hares, rabbits, etc., as distinguished from
      winged game.

   Ground hele (Bot.), a perennial herb (Veronica
      officinalis) with small blue flowers, common in Europe
      and America, formerly thought to have curative properties.

   Ground of the heavens (Astron.), the surface of any part of
      the celestial sphere upon which the stars may be regarded
      as projected.

   Ground hemlock (Bot.), the yew (Taxus baccata var.
      Canadensisi) of eastern North America, distinguished from
      that of Europe by its low, straggling stems.

   Ground hog. (Zool.)
       (a) The woodchuck or American marmot (Arctomys monax).
           See Woodchuck.
       (b) The aardvark.

   Ground hold (Naut.), ground tackle. [Obs.] --Spenser.

   Ground ice, ice formed at the bottom of a body of water
      before it forms on the surface.

   Ground ivy. (Bot.) A trailing plant; alehoof. See Gill.

   Ground joist, a joist for a basement or ground floor; a.

   Ground lark (Zool.), the European pipit. See Pipit.

   Ground laurel (Bot.). See Trailing arbutus, under

   Ground line (Descriptive Geom.), the line of intersection
      of the horizontal and vertical planes of projection.

   Ground liverwort (Bot.), a flowerless plant with a broad
      flat forking thallus and the fruit raised on peduncled and
      radiated receptacles (Marchantia polymorpha).

   Ground mail, in Scotland, the fee paid for interment in a

   Ground mass (Geol.), the fine-grained or glassy base of a
      rock, in which distinct crystals of its constituents are

   Ground parrakeet (Zool.), one of several Australian
      parrakeets, of the genera Callipsittacus and
      Geopsittacus, which live mainly upon the ground.

   Ground pearl (Zool.), an insect of the family Coccid[ae]
      (Margarodes formicarum), found in ants' nests in the
      Bahamas, and having a shelly covering. They are strung
      like beads, and made into necklaces by the natives.

   Ground pig (Zool.), a large, burrowing, African rodent
      (Aulacodus Swinderianus) about two feet long, allied to
      the porcupines but with harsh, bristly hair, and no
      spines; -- called also ground rat.

   Ground pigeon (Zool.), one of numerous species of pigeons
      which live largely upon the ground, as the tooth-billed
      pigeon (Didunculus strigirostris), of the Samoan
      Islands, and the crowned pigeon, or goura. See Goura,
      and Ground dove (above).

   Ground pine. (Bot.)
       (a) A blue-flowered herb of the genus Ajuga (A.
           Cham[ae]pitys), formerly included in the genus
           Teucrium or germander, and named from its resinous
           smell. --Sir J. Hill.
       (b) A long, creeping, evergreen plant of the genus
           Lycopodium (L. clavatum); -- called also club
       (c) A tree-shaped evergreen plant about eight inches in
           height, of the same genus (L. dendroideum) found in
           moist, dark woods in the northern part of the United
           States. --Gray.

   Ground plan (Arch.), a plan of the ground floor of any
      building, or of any floor, as distinguished from an
      elevation or perpendicular section.

   Ground plane, the horizontal plane of projection in
      perspective drawing.

   Ground plate.
       (a) (Arch.) One of the chief pieces of framing of a
           building; a timber laid horizontally on or near the
           ground to support the uprights; a ground sill or
       (b) (Railroads) A bed plate for sleepers or ties; a
       (c) (Teleg.) A metallic plate buried in the earth to
           conduct the electric current thereto. Connection to
           the pipes of a gas or water main is usual in cities.

   Ground plot, the ground upon which any structure is
      erected; hence, any basis or foundation; also, a ground

   Ground plum (Bot.), a leguminous plant (Astragalus
      caryocarpus) occurring from the Saskatchewan to Texas,
      and having a succulent plum-shaped pod.

   Ground rat. (Zool.) See Ground pig (above).

   Ground rent, rent paid for the privilege of building on
      another man's land.

   Ground robin. (Zool.) See Chewink.

   Ground room, a room on the ground floor; a lower room.

   Ground sea, the West Indian name for a swell of the ocean,
      which occurs in calm weather and without obvious cause,
      breaking on the shore in heavy roaring billows; -- called
      also rollers, and in Jamaica, the North sea.

   Ground sill. See Ground plate (a) (above).

   Ground snake (Zool.), a small burrowing American snake
      (Celuta am[oe]na). It is salmon colored, and has a blunt

   Ground squirrel. (Zool.)
       (a) One of numerous species of burrowing rodents of the
           genera Tamias and Spermophilus, having cheek
           pouches. The former genus includes the Eastern
           striped squirrel or chipmunk and some allied Western
           species; the latter includes the prairie squirrel or
           striped gopher, the gray gopher, and many allied
           Western species. See Chipmunk, and Gopher.
       (b) Any species of the African genus Xerus, allied to

   Ground story. Same as Ground floor (above).

   Ground substance (Anat.), the intercellular substance, or
      matrix, of tissues.

   Ground swell.
       (a) (Bot.) The plant groundsel. [Obs.] --Holland.
       (b) 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.

   Ground table. (Arch.) See Earth table, under Earth.

   Ground tackle (Naut.), the tackle necessary to secure a
      vessel at anchor. --Totten.

   Ground thrush (Zool.), one of numerous species of
      bright-colored Oriental birds of the family Pittid[ae].
      See Pitta.

   Ground tier.
       (a) The lowest tier of water casks in a vessel's hold.
       (b) The lowest line of articles of any kind stowed in a
           vessel's hold.
       (c) The lowest range of boxes in a theater.

   Ground timbers (Shipbuilding) the timbers which lie on the
      keel and are bolted to the keelson; floor timbers.

   Ground tit. (Zool.) See Ground wren (below).

   Ground wheel, that wheel of a harvester, mowing machine,
      etc., which, rolling on the ground, drives the mechanism.

   Ground wren (Zool.), a small California bird (Cham[ae]a
      fasciata) allied to the wrens and titmice. It inhabits
      the arid plains. Called also ground tit, and wren tit.

   To bite the ground, To break ground. See under Bite,

   To come to the ground, To fall to the ground, to come to
      nothing; to fail; to miscarry.

   To gain ground.
       (a) To advance; to proceed forward in conflict; as, an
           army in battle gains ground.
       (b) To obtain an advantage; to have some success; as, the
           army gains ground on the enemy.
       (c) To gain credit; to become more prosperous or

   To get ground, or To gather ground, to gain ground. [R.]
      "Evening mist . . . gathers ground fast." --Milton.
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            There is no way for duty to prevail, and get ground
            of them, but by bidding higher.       --South.

   To give ground, to recede; to yield advantage.
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            These nine . . . began to give me ground. --Shak.

   To lose ground, to retire; to retreat; to withdraw from the
      position taken; hence, to lose advantage; to lose credit
      or reputation; to decline.

   To stand one's ground, to stand firm; to resist attack or
      encroachment. --Atterbury.

   To take the ground to touch bottom or become stranded; --
      said of a ship.
      [1913 Webster]

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