1

surface

noun sur·face \ ˈsər-fəs \
Updated on: 9 Nov 2017

Definition of surface

1 :the exterior or upper boundary of an object or body
  • on the surface of the water
  • the earth's surface
2 :a plane or curved two-dimensional locus of points (such as the boundary of a three-dimensional region)
  • plane surface
  • surface of a sphere
3 a :the external or superficial aspect of something
  • trouble lurks below the surface
b :an external part or layer
  • sanded the rough surfaces
on the surface
:to all outward appearances

Examples of surface in a Sentence

  1. The painting's surface is covered with fine cracks.

  2. The bowl has a shiny surface.

  3. The surface of wood was rough.

  4. Be careful of icy surfaces on the roads.

Recent Examples of surface from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of surface

French, from Middle French, from sur- + face face, from Old French — more at face

surface Synonyms


2

surface

adjective

Definition of surface

1 a :of, located on, or designed for use at the surface of something
b :situated, transported, or employed on the surface of the earth
  • surface mail
  • surface vehicles
2 :appearing to be such on the surface only :superficial
  • surface friendships

Examples of surface in a Sentence

  1. Despite the surface differences between the two candidates, they are very similar in most ways.

  2. a surface stain on the wood that can easily be removed with a mild detergent

First Known Use of surface

1642

surface Synonyms

Synonyms
skin-deep, superficial
Related Words
depthless, shallow, shoal; two-dimensional; external
Near Antonyms
deep, deep-seated

3

surface

verb

Definition of surface

surfaced; surfacing
transitive verb
1 :to give a surface to: such as
a :to plane or make smooth
b :to apply the surface layer to
  • surface a highway
2 :to bring to the surface
  • surface a sunken ship
intransitive verb
1 :to work on or at the surface
2 :to come to the surface
3 :to come into public view :show up
  • letters that have recently surfaced

surfacer

noun

Examples of surface in a Sentence

  1. The whale surfaced and then dove back down.

  2. The information surfaced many years later.

  3. After several years, the actress surfaced in a comedy.

  4. The road needs to be surfaced again.

Recent Examples of surface from the Web

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

First Known Use of surface

1778



SURFACE Defined for English Language Learners

surface

noun

Definition of surface for English Language Learners

  • : an outside part or layer of something

  • : the upper layer of an area of land or water

  • : the flat, top part of something (such as a table or desk) that you can work on


surface

adjective

Definition of surface for English Language Learners

  • : involving only the parts that are easy to see or notice

  • : involving the removal of the surface of a large area of land to get at coal or other material that is near to the surface


surface

verb

Definition of surface for English Language Learners

  • : to rise to the surface of water

  • : to appear or become obvious after being hidden or not seen

  • : to put a surface on (something, such as a road)


SURFACE Defined for Kids

1

surface

noun sur·face \ ˈsər-fəs \

Definition of surface for Students

1 :the outside or any one side of an object
  • She floated on the water's surface.
2 :the outside appearance
  • On the surface the idea seems good.

2

surface

adjective

Definition of surface for Students

:not deep or real
  • a surface wound
  • a surface friendship

3

surface

verb

Definition of surface for Students

surfaced; surfacing
1 :to come to the surface
  • The submarine surfaced.
2 :to become obvious
  • Claudia's impatience surfaced.
  • —E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
3 :to give a new top layer to :make smooth (as by sanding or paving)

Medical Dictionary

surface

noun sur·face \ ˈsər-fəs \

medical Definition of surface

:the exterior or upper boundary of an object or body
  • the mesial and distal surfaces of a tooth


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