surf

noun
\ ˈsərf How to pronounce surf (audio) \

Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the swell of the sea that breaks upon the shore
2 : the foam, splash, and sound of breaking waves

surf

verb
surfed; surfing; surfs

Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to ride the surf (as on a surfboard)
2 : to scan a wide range of offerings for something of interest

transitive verb

: to scan the offerings of (such as television or the Internet) for something of interest

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Other Words from surf

Verb

surfer noun

Synonyms for surf

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of surf in a Sentence

Noun We could hear the roar of the surf. beachgoers romping in the swirling surf Verb He learned to surf when he was living in California.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Even without the perils of high-speed, low-light interdiction, California’s big surf and cool waters claim lives. New York Times, "Risking Everything to Come to America on the Open Ocean," 28 Jan. 2021 But the waves can be higher and the undertow stronger during the winter months when high surf warnings frequently occur. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "Search suspended for 12-year-old swept out to sea," 19 Jan. 2021 In addition to the rainfall, winds will pick up with the strongest winds felt along the New England coast where high surf, coastal flooding and beach erosion is possible, the Weather Service warned. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Weekend nor'easter to wallop East Coast with rain, snow and wind," 5 Dec. 2020 High surf and coastal erosion along New England beaches were also possible, federal forecasters said. NBC News, "'Treacherous' New England nor'easter could become 'bomb cyclone'," 5 Dec. 2020 High surf, coastal flooding and beach erosion will also be a hazard. Janice Dean, Fox News, "Winter storm watches across New England as nor'easter pushes along East Coast," 4 Dec. 2020 Epsilon’s large swells will bring life-threatening surf and rip current conditions to South Florida’s beaches. Chris Perkins, sun-sentinel.com, "Hurricane Epsilon down to 85 mph winds, still maintaining Category 1 status," 22 Oct. 2020 According to officials, Goessman’s body was found about 10:32 p.m. in the surf. oregonlive, "Missing woman found dead on beach in Waldport," 18 Jan. 2021 Additionally, a high surf advisory along the coasts is in effect until Monday evening. Vanessa Arredondo, SFChronicle.com, "Fire weather in January? Red flag warning coming to parts of Northern California," 18 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The entire extended family will eat together over the video-chat app, and then meet up again virtually later in the evening to surf online for Black Friday deals. Washington Post, "Zoomsgiving: 5 tech tips for getting through the remote holiday," 26 Nov. 2020 Southern California Edison, the plant’s operator, insists the levels are safe for marine life and the humans who swim and surf at San Onofre State Beach. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How safe is the water off the coast of the San Onofre nuclear plant?," 1 Dec. 2020 Food at 9) Guy and Hunter Fieri send three all-star chefs two boxes of groceries and challenge them to reinvent surf-and-turf dishes. Nina Zafar, Washington Post, "What to watch on Wednesday: ‘Baby God’ on HBO," 2 Dec. 2020 On the ocean near Victoria this fall, Daphne surprised the engineers by moving off its programmed track to surf the wake of their research boat—on its own. Vanessa Minke-martin, Smithsonian Magazine, "A New Generation of Autonomous Vessels Is Looking to Catch Illegal Fishers," 19 Nov. 2020 Both of them love to surf, ride scooters and raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Amazon Prime’s ‘The Pack’ shows why a San Diego man and his dog are a match made in reality-TV heaven," 14 Nov. 2020 Ocean Beach isn’t the best place to learn how to surf. George Mccalman, SFChronicle.com, "Observed: In a year of chaos, surfers find solace and joy at Ocean Beach," 31 Oct. 2020 My kids love to surf, so an ideal weekend would be spent at the beach. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Timken Museum’s education director finds meaning in making art accessible," 7 Nov. 2020 Those looking to literally surf the internet can with this 10-hour video of waves crashing. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "11 Calming Videos of Cute Animals, Natural Landscapes, and Other Relaxing Scenes You Need Right Now," 3 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surf.' 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 surf

Noun

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1917, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for surf

Noun

origin unknown

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Statistics for surf

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surf.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surf. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for surf

surf

noun

English Language Learners Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: large waves that fall on the shore and the white foam and sound that they produce

surf

verb

English Language Learners Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ride on ocean waves using a special board (called a surfboard)
: to look for information or other interesting things on the Internet

surf

noun
\ ˈsərf How to pronounce surf (audio) \

Kids Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the waves of the sea that splash on the shore
2 : the sound, splash, and foam of breaking waves

surf

verb
surfed; surfing

Kids Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to ride the incoming waves of the sea (as on a surfboard)
2 : to scan a wide range of offerings (as on television or the Internet) for something that is interesting or fills a need

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More from Merriam-Webster on surf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surf

Nglish: Translation of surf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surf

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