Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

surmount

play
transitive verb sur·mount \sər-ˈmau̇nt\

Simple Definition of surmount

  • : to deal with (a problem or a difficult situation) successfully

  • : to be placed at the top of (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of surmount

  1. 1 obsolete :  to surpass in quality or attainment :  excel

  2. 2 :  to prevail over :  overcome <surmount an obstacle>

  3. 3 :  to get to the top of :  climb

  4. 4 :  to stand or lie at the top of

surmountable

play \-ˈmau̇n-tə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of surmount in a sentence

  1. <an Olympic swimmer who surmounted endless obstacles to achieve her goals>



Did You Know?

Our verb mount, meaning "ascend, get up onto", comes from the same Latin root as mountain, and we keep those images in mind when using surmount, since climbing up or over a mountain is a symbol of achievement. The word almost always refers to human effort, and almost always in a positive way; thus, we speak of surmounting difficulties, surmounting problems, surmounting hurdles, surmounting handicaps—you get the idea.

Origin and Etymology of surmount

Middle English, from Anglo-French surmunter, from sur- + munter to mount


First Known Use: 14th century


SURMOUNT Defined for Kids

surmount

play
verb sur·mount \sər-ˈmau̇nt\

Definition of surmount for Students

surmounted

surmounting

  1. 1 :  overcome 1 <He'll have to surmount difficulties to win.>

  2. 2 :  to get to the top of

  3. 3 :  to be at the top of <A castle surmounts the cliff.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up surmount? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

beat divulge defame placate
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ