surface

noun
sur·face | \ˈsər-fəs \

Definition of surface 

(Entry 1 of 3)

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

3a : 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

surface

adjective

Definition of surface (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : 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

surface

verb
surfaced; surfacing

Definition of surface (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from surface

Verb

surfacer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for surface

Synonyms: Noun

exterior, face, outside, shell, skin, veneer

Synonyms: Adjective

skin-deep, superficial

Synonyms: Verb

arise, come up, crop (up), emerge, materialize, spring (up)

Antonyms: Noun

inside, interior

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Examples of surface in a Sentence

Noun

The painting's surface is covered with fine cracks. The bowl has a shiny surface. The surface of wood was rough. Be careful of icy surfaces on the roads.

Adjective

Despite the surface differences between the two candidates, they are very similar in most ways. a surface stain on the wood that can easily be removed with a mild detergent

Verb

The whale surfaced and then dove back down. The information surfaced many years later. After several years, the actress surfaced in a comedy. The road needs to be surfaced again.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The earth’s surface drops, usually a few inches a year. Dale Kasler And Phillip Reese, sacbee, "The Valley floor is sinking, and it’s crippling California’s ability to deliver water," 13 July 2018 The driving range now is two-tiered with stations featuring both grass and mat surfaces. Brent Kennedy, baltimoresun.com, "Hunt Valley Country Club," 11 July 2018 It can be spread through contact with objects, surfaces, food or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from person with the virus. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana sees first death connected to multi-state hepatitis A outbreak," 11 July 2018 Additionally, this theory applies only to flat, horizontal surfaces parallel to the ground. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Settling a Heated Debate—Do Zebra Stripes Keep These Animals Cool?," 10 July 2018 Electrics are more sophisticated and thus have more attack surfaces. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Stop Your Car From Getting Hacked," 10 July 2018 Newslook The red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival is one swanky surface. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis inmate plays role in film but misses premiere. He's still in prison.," 9 July 2018 The 20-second process involves nozzles spraying and sanitizing every surface of the bathroom, followed by ultraviolet lights that kill 99 percent of all the germs. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "This New Luxury Airline Is Offering Private Jet Travel at a Fraction of the Price," 9 July 2018 Sculley and Treviño counter that the historic interpretation of the Alamo footprint, including lowering the surface by 16 inches and replication of an old acequia, would preclude vehicle access on Alamo Street. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Officials try to avoid battle over Alamo plan," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Allegations that the Fox School of Business misrepresented data for applicants for its online M.B.A. program — helping the program win a top slot in U.S. News’ annual rankings — surfaced in January and bubbled for months. Susan Snyder, Philly.com, "In wake of biz school scandal, Temple faces more scrutiny for data falsification," 11 July 2018 The show sold to a major Hollywood studio, Ko said, but creative differences surfaced during development. NBC News, "Actress Naomi Ko wanted to see more stories from the U.S. heartland, so she made her own," 2 July 2018 As soon as video footage surfaced, artists in hip-hop and beyond took to Twitter to share prayers for the 20-year-old rapper, including Juicy J, Lil Xan and XXX album collaborators Joey Bada$$ and Travis Barker. Taylor Weatherby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fellow Musicians React to Reports of XXXTentacion's Death," 18 June 2018 Reputation-damaging information can surface in discovery. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Could Gareon Conley Legally Prove That Rape Allegation Caused Draft Slide, Financial Harm?," 12 July 2018 Butt had been trying to get permission from the Sheriff’s Office to tour the jail since allegations of mistreatment surfaced nine months ago. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Richmond’s Mayor Butt meets ICE detainees," 12 July 2018 Since the allegation surfaced, many Duran Duran fans have come out in support of Le Bon and are questioning Hariri's story. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon denies sexually groping woman: It's 'simply untrue'," 12 July 2018 Trump's first replacement choice, White House doctor Ronny Jackson, withdrew after allegations of workplace misconduct surfaced. Fox News, "Robert Wilkie approved by Senate panel to lead troubled VA," 10 July 2018 The audit was ordered by the state office after Schaeffer’s allegations surfaced as part of dueling lawsuits between Schaeffer and Gold’s widow, Eileen Gold. Ron Hurtibise, Sun-Sentinel.com, "People's Trust blocks public release of audit into criminal allegations against former CEO," 26 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of surface

Noun

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1778, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for surface

Noun

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

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Phrases Related to surface

surface area

surface mail

Statistics for surface

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surface

The first known use of surface was circa 1600

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More Definitions for surface

surface

noun

English Language Learners Definition of surface

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of surface (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of surface (Entry 3 of 3)

: 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

noun
sur·face | \ˈsər-fəs \

Kids Definition of surface

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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.

surface

adjective

Kids Definition of surface (Entry 2 of 3)

: not deep or real a surface wound a surface friendship

surface

verb
surfaced; surfacing

Kids Definition of surface (Entry 3 of 3)

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)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on surface

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surface

Spanish Central: Translation of surface

Nglish: Translation of surface for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surface for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surface

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