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sub·​sur·​face ˈsəb-ˌsər-fəs How to pronounce subsurface (audio)
: earth material (such as rock) near but not exposed at the surface of the ground


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sub·​sur·​face ˌsəb-ˈsər-fəs How to pronounce subsurface (audio)
: of, relating to, or being something located beneath a surface and especially underground

Examples of subsurface in a Sentence

Adjective a sandy wasteland that gave little hint of its subsurface wealth
Recent Examples on the Web
Scientists study the inner core to learn how Earth’s deep interior formed and how activity connects across all the planet’s subsurface layers. Mindy Weisberger, CNN, 5 July 2024 The resulting rocks are dissolved in water that can be reused directly in the water treatment process, or injected into aquifers or other non-potable subsurface formations for permanent storage. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2024
So Marco Mastrogiuseppe, a researcher on the Cassini team who had used instruments like RADAR to map subsurface water on Mars, decided to try something. Liz Kruesi, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2015 An entire ocean’s worth is unlikely, but a significant amount of subsurface water isn’t. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, 8 Dec. 2022 See all Example Sentences for subsurface 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'subsurface.' 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


1775, in the meaning defined above


1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subsurface was in 1775

Dictionary Entries Near subsurface

Cite this Entry

“Subsurface.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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