Etymology
Advertisement
groundling (n.)
"theater patron in the pit" (which originally had no floor or benches), c. 1600, from ground (n.) in an Elizabethan sense of "pit of a theater" + -ling. From the beginning emblematic of bad or unsophisticated taste. Old English grundling was a type of fish.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
background (n.)
"the ground or situation to the rear of what is in front or most engaging of the attention," 1670s, from back (adj.) + ground (n.); original sense was theatrical, later applied to painting ("part of a picture representing what is furthest from the spectator"), 1752. Figurative sense is first attested 1854.
Related entries & more 
playground (n.)

"piece of ground set aside for open-air recreation," especially as connected with a school, 1780; see play (v.) + ground (n.). Old English had plegstow, plaeg-stede, "village sports ground, gymnasium," literally "place for play."

Related entries & more 
groundless (adj.)
Old English grundleas "bottomless, unfathomable, vast;" see ground (n.) + -less. Figurative sense of "having no adequate cause or reason" is from 1620s. Similar formation in Dutch grondeloos, German grundlos, Old Norse grunnlauss. Related: Groundlessly; groundlessness.
Related entries & more 
underground (adv.)
1570s, "below the surface," from under + ground (n.). As an adjective, attested from c. 1600; figurative sense of "hidden, secret" is attested from 1630s; adjectival meaning "subculture" is from 1953, from adjectival use in reference to World War II resistance movements against German occupation, on analogy of the dominant culture and the Nazis. Noun sense of "underground railway" is from 1887 (shortened from phrase underground railway, itself attested from 1834).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
groin (n.)
"oblique depression of the body between the abdomen and thighs," 1590s, earlier grine (1530s), from Middle English grynde "groin" (c. 1400), originally "depression in the ground," from Old English grynde "abyss," perhaps also "depression, hollow," from Proto-Germanic *grundus (see ground (n.)). Altered 16c. by influence of loin or obsolete groin "snout of a pig." The architectural groin "curving edge formed by the intersection of two vaults" is from 1725.
Related entries & more 
inhumation (n.)
"act of burying in the ground" (as opposed to cremation), 1630s, noun of action from inhume "to bury," literally "to put into the ground," from in- "in" (from PIE root *en "in") + humus "earth, soil" (see humus).
Related entries & more 
solum (n.)
Latin, "ground, soil," of unknown origin.
Related entries & more 
water-table (n.)
"level of saturated ground," 1879, from water (n.1) + table (n.).
Related entries & more 
watershed (n.)

"line separating waters flowing into different rivers," 1803, from water (n.1) + shed in a topographical sense of "ridge of high ground between two valleys or lower ground, a divide," for which see shed (n.2). Perhaps a loan-translation of German Wasser-scheide. Figurative sense is attested from 1878. Meaning "ground of a river system" is from 1878.

Related entries & more 

Page 3