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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
groundswell \ground"swell`\ (ground"sw[e^]l`), n. 1. A long, deep wave in the sea, sometimes caused by distant winds or storms. [PJC] 2. A rising sentiment of support or enthusiasm, especially among the general public; as, a groundswell of opinion favoring campaign finance reform. [PJC]