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

foam, froth, head, lather, spume, suds

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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

For the next couple of months, it’s Obama’s wave to surf. Lauren Young, Teen Vogue, "Barack Obama Is Back on the Campaign Trail. Here's What People Who Saw Him Had to Say," 10 Sep. 2018 In recent days, the storm’s big waves and agitations to the surf have presented its biggest hazard at Mid-Atlantic beaches. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Chris strengthens into a hurricane while moving away from the North Carolina coast," 10 July 2018 In addition to the surf, strong rip currents could pose a danger to swimmers, forecasters said. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Extreme heat wave, high surf expected to send many to the beach," 4 July 2018 Then there’s his growing interest in directing films, including last year’s Tribeca selection Under an Arctic Sky, about a quest to surf under the northern lights in Iceland. Serena Renner, Outside Online, "The Wild Life of Instagram Star Chris Burkard," 2 July 2018 These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Carlie Kollath Wells, NOLA.com, "Alberto expected to weaken as storm moves through Alabama, Tennessee," 29 May 2018 But there’s a big difference between a movie content to surf a tsunami of nostalgia, and science fiction sturdy enough to invent tomorrow’s nostalgia, today. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Ready Player One' review: In Spielberg's dystopia, pop culture saves the day," 26 Mar. 2018 But less than 30 minutes later, the Cape Cod beach crackled with energy, as a small stretch of sand became a runway to the surf, lined by dozens of people eager to witness the return of five loggerhead sea turtles to the ocean. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Five loggerhead sea turtles return to ocean after 6 months at aquarium hospital," 3 July 2018 And just yesterday, Lopez was posting photos from the beach—shot by A.Rod because obviously)—in which the two were enjoying some downtime on the surf and sand. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Are Engaged," 10 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Today most internet-connected cars with modems use 4G broadband technology, which has enabled Wi-Fi hot spots and streaming services, allowing passengers to surf the Web and listen to their favorite music on demand. Chester Dawson, WSJ, "How 5G Paves the Way for the Driverless Car," 12 Sep. 2018 Then, this April, I was attacked by a tiger shark while surfing off the coast of Shipwreck Beach in Keoniloa Bay, on the south shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Patty Hodapp, Outside Online, "The Man Who Survived a Rattler, Bear, and Shark Attack," 10 July 2018 Nine blue Casamigos surfboards fan out on a wall, a metaphor for the company that made George Clooney and Rande Gerber even wealthier, surfing on a sea of tequila. Mark Seal, WSJ, "The Tequila Gold Rush," 19 June 2018 Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa broke the record for the biggest wave ever surfed on Saturday, as judges at the World Surf League's Big Wave Awards in Santa Monica said that the wave Koxa surfed at Nazare, Portugal in November was 80 feet high. Nihal Kolur, SI.com, "Watch: Rodrigo Koxa Sets World Record for Biggest Wave Ever Surfed," 30 Apr. 2018 In general, board sports, like surfing and skateboarding, translate well to snowboarding, says Marino. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "6 Tips for Beginner Snowboarders From Olympian Julia Marino," 22 Jan. 2019 According to the indictment, a bankruptcy judge grew suspicious of Miller’s claim to be cash-strapped after surfing through television and seeing some of the related shows, Reuters reported. Kate Hogan, PEOPLE.com, "From Dance Moms to 8 Months in Prison: Abby Lee Miller's Ups and Downs," 28 Mar. 2018 Alan Bernholtz grew up in the San Fernando Valley and surfed off Malibu. latimes.com, "Iceland’s remote Deplar Farm delights heli-skiers and adventurers," 21 Jan. 2018 Important things -- like napping, surfing Facebook, and playing Just Dance with my children. Joslyn Gray, Redbook, "Don't Judge Me Because...My House Is a Mess," 30 Nov. 2011

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

19 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surf

The first known use of surf was in 1685

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surf

Spanish Central: Translation of surf

Nglish: Translation of surf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surf

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