channel surfing


: the action or practice of surfing through television programs usually by use of a remote control
channel surf intransitive verb
channel surfer noun

Examples of channel surfing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Why Trust Us? Similar to channel surfing in the ’90s, online shopping today feels a bit overwhelming and disappointing. Tom Price, Popular Mechanics, 23 June 2023 On Monday night, Brandon returned from dinner with friends in San Antonio and while channel surfing briefly wondered why CNN broadcasters were discussing an NFL game. Dallas News, 3 Jan. 2023 Uncertainty and shades of grey don't play well to Rush's audience, who are often mowing their lawns and channel surfing through stations. The Intersection, Discover Magazine, 17 June 2011 The same goes for straight people channel surfing their way to VH1 and getting sucked in. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2022 Dusan Bulut was 9 years old and channel surfing at home in Novi Sad, Serbia, when the street ball caper starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes appeared on the television. New York Times, 24 July 2021 Launched in 2014 and snapped up by ViacomCBS in 2019, Pluto is a streaming service that mimics the experience of channel surfing. Rebecca Alter, Vulture, 21 June 2021 Along with a return to channel surfing, the streaming world is seeing a return to weekly release schedules., 29 Apr. 2021 At one point, the author’s surrogate is channel surfing before midnight and notices that all anyone on late-night television is talking about is Trump. Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'channel surfing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1988, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of channel surfing was in 1988

Dictionary Entries Near channel surfing

Cite this Entry

“Channel surfing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

channel surfing

: the action or practice of quickly looking at one television channel after another by use of a remote control
channel surf verb
channel surfer noun
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