transitive verb sur·round \sə-ˈrand\

: to be on every side of (someone or something)

: to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping

: to be closely related or connected to (something)

Full Definition of SURROUND

a (1) :  to enclose on all sides :  envelop <the crowd surrounded her> (2) :  to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat :  invest
b :  to form or be a member of the entourage of <flatterers who surround the king>
c :  to constitute part of the environment of <surrounded by poverty>
d :  to extend around the margin or edge of :  encircle <a wall surrounds the old city>
:  to cause to be surrounded by something <surrounded himself with friends>

Examples of SURROUND

  1. A wall surrounds the old city.
  2. They had the suspect surrounded.
  3. She was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of excited fans.
  4. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the decision.
  5. His departure was surrounded by secrecy.

Origin of SURROUND

Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by 5round — more at water
First Known Use: circa 1616



: a border or an area that is around the outside edge of something

Full Definition of SURROUND

:  something (as a border or ambient environment) that surrounds <from urban centre to rural surround — Emrys Jones>

Examples of SURROUND

  1. <the vast, featureless surround of the desert was strangely appealing to him>

First Known Use of SURROUND

SURROUNDS Defined for Kids


verb sur·round \sə-ˈrand\

Definition of SURROUND for Kids

:  to enclose on all sides :  encircle <A fence surrounds the property.>
:  to be closely related or connected to <… my actions will help to dispel this terrible myth of evil that seems to surround rats everywhere. — Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux>

Word Root of SURROUND

The Latin word unda, meaning wave, gives us the root und. Words from the Latin unda have something to do with waves. To undulate is to move up and down like a wave. To inundate is to cover with a flood of waves. To surround, or encircle on all sides, is to enclose as if by waves. To abound is to be plentiful, like waves in the ocean.


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