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ground noun

1 solid surface of the earth

ADJ. firm, hard | muddy, soft, wet | dry, dusty | fertile (often figurative) The fall of the old regime provided fertile ground for opportunism.

VERB + GROUND fall to, hit The helicopter burst into flames when it hit the ground. | reach She's so short, her feet don't reach the ground when she sits down. | get off, leave The plane was so overloaded it couldn't leave the ground. (figurative) His plan is too costly to ever get off the ground.

GROUND + NOUN level A waterproof membrane is built into the wall just above ground level.

PREP. above/below ~ The roots may spread as far below ground as does the foliage above ground. | in the ~ a hole in the ground | on the ~ He sat down on the ground. | under the ~ The tunnel goes deep under the ground.

2 area of land

ADJ. high, low The village stands on high ground and is not prone to flooding. | open | difficult, rocky, rough, stony, uneven | marshy

QUANT. patch, piece We found a patch of open ground in the middle of the woods.

3 piece of land used for a particular purpose

ADJ. burial | dumping | cricket, football, practice, rugby, sports, training | parade | breeding, feeding, hunting

PREP. at a/the ~ I'll meet you at the football ground. | in a/the ~ all the graves in the burial ground

4 grounds: land surrounding a large building

ADJ. extensive | castle, hospital, palace, school, etc.

VERB + GROUND be set in, have The palace is set in extensive grounds.

PREP. in the ~ (of) Many estate workers lived in cottages in the grounds of the castle.

5 area of interest/study/discussion

ADJ. familiar, firm, home I was on more familiar ground now that we were talking about our own system. | dangerous, shaky Legally, we're on very shaky ground (= our actions may not be legal). | safe | common Both parties in the debate shared some common ground.

VERB + GROUND cover, go over Several researchers have published articles covering this ground. We just seem to be going over the same ground that we covered last year.

PREP. on … ~ He knew he was on dangerous ground talking about money.

PHRASES break new ground Her architectural designs have broken new ground.

6 grounds: reason for sth

ADJ. good, reasonable, sufficient, valid

VERB + GROUND have The constable had reasonable grounds for arresting her. | give (sb) His evasiveness gave grounds for the suspicion that he knew more than he was saying.

PREP. on … ~s Permission to open a mine was denied on environmental grounds. | on the ~s of He resigned from his post on the grounds of ill-health. | ~ for Drunkenness at work was sufficient grounds for instant dismissal.