sur·​charge | \ ˈsər-ˌchärj How to pronounce surcharge (audio) \
surcharged; surcharging; surcharges

Definition of surcharge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : overcharge
b : to charge an extra fee
c : to show an omission in (an account) for which credit ought to have been given
2 British : overstock
3 : to fill or load to excess the atmosphere … was surcharged with war hysteria— H. A. Chippendale
4a : to mark a surcharge on (a stamp)
b : overprint surcharge a banknote



Definition of surcharge (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an additional tax, cost, or impost
b : an extra fare a sleeping car surcharge
c : an instance of surcharging an account
2 : an excessive load or burden
3 : the action of surcharging : the state of being surcharged
4a(1) : an overprint on a stamp specifically : one that alters the denomination
(2) : a stamp bearing such an overprint
b : an overprint on a currency note

Synonyms & Antonyms for surcharge

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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The Arab oil embargo of 1973 led airlines to add fuel surcharges to their passenger fares that were large enough to discourage air travel. Surcharges are usually added for special service. When you request a "rush job" from a service supplier, it will probably bring a surcharge along with it. A particularly difficult phone installation may carry a surcharge. An extra-large fine for a speeding offense after you've already had too many tickets could be called a surcharge. An added tax may be called a surcharge (or surtax) when it only affects people with incomes above a certain level. And if those low, low prices that show up in really big letters in ads for all kinds of services turn out to be misleading, it's probably because they don't include a bunch of surcharges that you won't find out about till later.

Examples of surcharge in a Sentence

Verb contends that with the present tax structure, the state's lower-income residents are being surcharged and the wealthiest residents are getting off too lightly Noun The airline has added a $20 fuel surcharge on all international flights.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Josephson’s bill would increase that surcharge slightly. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Mar. 2022 In addition to sales tax, the governor’s budget language would let New York City collect a $1.50-per-room nightly surcharge on hotel stays. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2021 The Osceola County Clerk of Court will be waiving a 40% collections surcharge during its Operation Green Light from Monday through Nov. 20. Monivette Cordeiro,, 6 Nov. 2020 The county had a fund balance of $6.6 million in school facilities surcharge revenues at the end of fiscal 2018. Erin B. Logan,, 23 Aug. 2019 The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote, protects Americans from being refused or surcharged for insurance because of their medical history. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2019 Soil surcharging work done ... Over the last two years, the SpaceX site was essentially leveled, loaded with hundreds of tons of soil, plumbed with drainage pipes, and then left alone to have gravity do the rest of the work. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 28 Sep. 2018 Cracks and joint separations are allowing stormwater to infiltrate and surcharge the lines, causing them to overflow from manholes. Lawrence Specker,, 23 June 2017 The House bill allows states to obtain waivers allowing insurers to reject applicants with medical conditions or surcharge them heavily under certain circumstances. Michael Hiltzik,, 9 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Canadian exhibitor Cineplex has joined its U.S. peers in introducing a surcharge for the convenience of booking movies online. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 June 2022 Trucking companies cope with pricier diesel by calculating the basic cost of hauling a load, then adding a separate fuel surcharge that varies with the price of diesel. Globe Staff,, 26 May 2022 That brings the price down to $106.50 — there’s a $5 fuel surcharge. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2022 But now the carrier is adjusting its fuel surcharge mechanism to take into account diesel prices far outside the scale that was set several years ago. Lydia O’neal, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 Like Uber drivers in New York, cabdrivers in New York would not be eligible for the fuel surcharge and would instead be paid according to New York City’s guidelines for for-hire vehicles. Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2022 Lyft’s competitor, Uber, last Friday announced a temporary fuel surcharge that will begin Wednesday. Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2022 Uber is tacking on a fuel surcharge to rides and food-delivery orders in a bid to ease drivers’ gas bill amid record-high prices. Jackie Davalos, Fortune, 12 Mar. 2022 While violators would face a surcharge for water consumed above the limit, there’s an element of shame to consider. Gwendolyn Wu, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of surcharge


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for surcharge


Middle English, from Anglo-French surcharger, from sur- + charger to load, charge — more at charge entry 1

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Time Traveler for surcharge

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The first known use of surcharge was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Surcharge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for surcharge


transitive verb
sur·​charge | \ ˈsər-ˌchärj How to pronounce surcharge (audio) \

Legal Definition of surcharge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to impose a surcharge on surcharge a trustee for failing to exercise due care
2 : to show an omission in (an account) for which credit ought to have been given



Legal Definition of surcharge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an additional or excessive charge
2 : a penalty imposed on a fiduciary for failing to exercise due care in the management of assets

More from Merriam-Webster on surcharge

Nglish: Translation of surcharge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surcharge for Arabic Speakers


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