channel surfing


Definition of channel surfing

: the action or practice of surfing through television programs usually by use of a remote control

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Other Words from channel surfing

channel surf intransitive verb
channel surfer noun

Examples of channel surfing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As an fMRI device tracked blood flow in their brains, the students watched a series of video clips of varying lengths, an experience that Dr. Parkinson likened to channel surfing with somebody else in control of the remote. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "You Share Everything With Your Bestie. Even Brain Waves.," 16 Apr. 2018 Wlodkowski says that channel surfing is just the beginning. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Comcast’s new remote control feature allows viewers to change the channel with their eyes," 17 June 2019 The other day Steve and I were channel surfing and landed on an interview with a group of sister wives who were the stars of a new reality show. Christina Boufis, Woman's Day, "Which Witch is Which," 7 Oct. 2010 Later that summer, Lawrence Bommer wrote a slightly longer and more descriptive review of their act: When not spoofing channel surfing (a too frequent target), the Two White Guys' skits are decidedly better than the boob tube. Aimee Levitt, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Comedy / Film Before Peele met Key or wanted to Get Out, he was onstage in Chicago," 8 Mar. 2018 Mama was channel surfing recently, looking for an old movie to get her into the Valentine’s spirit. Southern Living, "7 Old-School Dating Tips We Want to Bring Back," 19 Jan. 2017 The former has acknowledged that mindless social media surfing is as emotionally harmful as the channel surfing of couch potatoes. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Disney and Apple Head for Conflict, While Google and Facebook Burn," 18 Dec. 2017 If that's not motivation for LSU to bring drama to the stage then there will be a lot of channel surfing Saturday night. Charles Hollis,, "Oh Canada! Can LSU's new OC put Alabama's defense on its heels?," 3 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'channel surfing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of channel surfing

1988, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for channel surfing

Last Updated

25 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for channel surfing

The first known use of channel surfing was in 1988

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More Definitions for channel surfing

channel surfing


English Language Learners Definition of channel surfing

: the activity of using a remote control to change television stations quickly as you look for something to watch

More from Merriam-Webster on channel surfing

Spanish Central: Translation of channel surfing

Comments on channel surfing

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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