Dominick Denis’ 750 Word Expanded Definition of Ground

TO: Prof. Jason Ellis

FROM: Dominick Denis

DATE: 10/15/19

SUBJECT: Expanded Definition of Ground


The purpose of this document is to provide an elaborate explanation on a technical term that is relevant to either my major studies or future professional field of practice. In order to acquire information on my chosen term I will, thorough research, be using various academic and general audience sources. In the following paragraphs, I am to quote from those sources the several definitions that my term contains, the use in context (via etymology), the specific definition that best suits my chosen career path, as well as, offering proper citations. The technical term that I have chosen to use for this document is ground.


Through exploration, I have found that the term ground happens to be inherited from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language consisting of German, Dutch, Gothic, etc. A few lexicons had led me to numerous definitions of the term ground. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), ground (1) is defined as, “the soil of the earth” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, the surface in which all living things walk upon, as well as grow from. Another definition of ground (2), according to the OED, is defined as, “Any material surface, natural or prepared, which is taken as a basis for working upon” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, provided by an example, using a backdrop for photography or even using makeup which involves the application of a substance atop a surface as a starting foundation.  A third definition of ground (3), is defined as “Reduced to fine particles by grinding or crushing” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, the energy of forcing the surfaces of two or more solid matter against one another until their physical structure changes into a powder or dust. Lastly, the fourth definition of ground (4), according to the Cambridge Dictionary, is defined as “a reason, cause, or argument” (ground, 2019). This definition can alternatively be expressed as, important topics centered around a single point in order to reach solutions.

Each definition in comparison to one another have similarities in the sense that a core, or source area must, initially, be defined followed by the implementation of matter whether from a tangible or a situational aspect. Their differences, might often, present themselves through professional occupations, on a regular day outside, or even by the act of cooking a meal. A gardener, for example, may want to plant a garden and for that to be done the ground (or soil) must be dug up. I, personally, find this version of the term used more frequent in society because it constantly surrounds life, as it is the earth. Whether on land, sea, or air, a sense of a solid surface below us always arrives to the subconscious mind.  Another use of the word, ground (4), can be found within the legal system under the stand your ground law which is denoted as, according to, “…[a] law that eliminates the duty to retreat by allowing, as a first response, self-defense by deadly force.” These two examples can justify just how broad the term ground is easily spread.


With research, I will be elaborating on the wide-range use of the term and providing quotations from various sources. Those quotations will allow me to discuss how the term is used in context. Context is everything that surrounds a word(s), idea, environment, etc. giving that main subject a clear and concise meaning when outputted. It is a graspable flow of understanding the bigger picture. I acquired from a New York Times article a reference example that read from the words of Odede saying, “This, perhaps, is terrorism’s fertile ground” (Odede, 2014, 23). In terms of context, I was able to gather that ground is described, metaphorically, as a place of growth. This term will be in relation to the following quotes in context. In the land of Nairobi, Kenya, there are slums (fertile ground) where terrorism is bred, and the youth would ultimately face a life growing up under the conditions of inculcated survival. Another example of my term in context is found in a blog posted by the username Shanegenziuk suggesting, “This is how you want to be recycling coffee grounds – making use of a small strip of soil under some trees will do just fine!” (Shanegenziuk, 2017). This example consists of ground (3) which is defined in the beginning of this document. Coffee grounds refer to the tiny particles that coffee beans become after being processed in a grinder. In this case, once the coffee grounds have been used, would be thrown into the soil as compost, due to their remaining nutrients, to better the environment. In relation to the previous quote, the term is described as a fertilizer. Lastly, according to Roselli, “…to increasing interest both in the introduction of ground source heat pump (GSHP) and in the use of battery storage system to reduce electricity exported to the grid” (Roselli, 2019, 488-500). The context of this version of ground is concerned with a call for increased sustainable energy. In order to acquire this type of energy absorbed heat would have to be gathered from the ground of the Earth. In relation to the other quotes, the term is described as a power source.

Working Definition

Based on my particular major, electrical engineering technology (EET), the definition of ground (5), according to Wikipedia, is defined as “the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured, a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the earth” (ground, 2019). Ground (5) can be contextually expressed through the latter example of the previous paragraph. The specific context for my working definition can be expressed as, the most stable point of connection within any circuit assuring that a sense of equilibrium is in place as to avoid damage, both internally and externally (to the user).


Ground (1). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from

Ground (2). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from

Ground (3). In Oxford English Dictionary Online. Retrieved from

Ground (4). In Cambridge English Dictionary. Retrieved from

Ground (5). In Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Odede, K. (2014). Terrorism’s Fertile Ground. The New York Times, 23. Retrieved from

Roselli, C., Diglio, G., Sasso, M., & Tariello, F. (2019). A novel energy index to assess the impact of a solar PV-based ground source heat pump on the power grid. Renewable Energy: An International Journal143, 488–500. Retrieved from

Shanegenziuk (2017) Coffee Grounds for Soil and Trees. Ground to Ground, 1. Retrieved from

Stand your ground. In Dictionary Online. Retrieved from–your–ground

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