surface

noun
sur·​face | \ ˈsər-fəs How to pronounce surface (audio) \

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

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Although cooler than the rest of the sun’s surface, some scientists postulate that sunspots have an overall warming effect on the sun. Curtis Roelle, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Star Points: Signs of sunspot cycle returning to normal," 10 Apr. 2021 If all final checks and atmospheric conditions look good, the helicopter will lift off climbing at a rate of 3 feet per second and hover at 10 feet above the surface for up to 30 seconds. Julia Musto, Fox News, "Mars Perseverance rover takes a selfie with Ingenuity helicopter ahead of historic flight," 10 Apr. 2021 Mars is known for its dust storms, and while the planet is pretty clear at the moment, wind across the surface is extremely common and in some cases very intense. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Here’s when you’ll finally be able to see the Mars helicopter fly," 10 Apr. 2021 The Perseverance rover has already successfully touched down on Mars, begun its trek across the red planet's surface and sent back photos and audio. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Oil infrastructure springs dangerous leaks from Texas to California," 9 Apr. 2021 On its surface, there is no reason why this can be seen as similar to the Jim Crow laws. Teddy Mcdarrah, Forbes, "Look To The Foundation: Lessons From The Georgia Voting Law," 9 Apr. 2021 During the test flight, which could last up to 30 seconds, the helicopter will climb to 10 feet above the Martian surface and hover for up to 30 seconds before touching down again, according to NASA. NBC News, "NASA helicopter set for historic first flight on Mars," 9 Apr. 2021 Under these conditions, a temperature inversion forms above the ground, and the volcanic emissions are trapped near the surface and travel down our side of the mountain slope. Todd Nelson, Star Tribune, "Saturday," 9 Apr. 2021 Gas stovetops are beautiful and prized for their ability to provide an even cooking surface. Tamara Gane, Southern Living, "How To Clean Every Type of Stovetop," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But anti-ship-missile defense is a corollary to offensive anti-surface warfare. David Axe, Forbes, "Two Halves Of A Possible Naval Battle Played Out Along The Norwegian Coast As NATO And Russia Practiced For War," 1 Mar. 2021 The Constellation ships are multi-mission ships that are capable of anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare (anti-ship and land attack), and anti-air warfare (anti-aircraft, anti-missile, and now anti-drone) missions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Hopes Its New Frigates Will Snap a Mediocre Ship Streak," 14 Jan. 2021 The multi-surface brushes pick up dirt and debris on both carpet and hard floors while using advanced sensors to adapt to your home's layout. Kennedy Vogel, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Best Black Friday Deals on Home and Kitchen—Including Sales on Instant Pot, iRobot, and OXO," 24 Nov. 2020 With its patented premium 3-Stage Cleaning System featuring multi-surface brushes, this powerful robovac boasts 10 times the suction power of the Roomba 600 and 700 series — perfect for those who are dealing with a lot of dirt on a daily basis. Chelsea Stone, CNN Underscored, "The best sales to shop today: Instant Pot, Roomba, Samsung and more," 2 Nov. 2020 Roomba vacuums are popular among NBC News Shopping and this model features a three-stage cleaning system and auto-adjust its cleaning head with multi-surface brushes for cleaning carpet or hard floors. NBC News, "Prime Day bestsellers: Most purchased items we've covered," 15 Oct. 2020 Get the iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum for $299.99 (Save $200): With its multi-surface brushes, the Roomba 960 is an ideal choice for homes with pets. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Amazon Prime Day 2020: Shop the best deals from Best Buy's competing sale," 14 Oct. 2020 This model comes packed with 18 accessories for multi-surface cleaning and a spacious tank that produces steam for up to 45 minutes of uninterrupted use. Sian Babish And Jennifer Manfrin, chicagotribune.com, "Best Prime Day 2020 deals for people at home," 14 Oct. 2020 This one is wifi connected, has 120 minutes of runtime, and works with Alexa to do all of your multi-surface floor cleaning. oregonlive, "Amazon Prime Day 2020 deals launch early: 4K TV sets, Echo Dots on sale, more gadgets already discounted (live updates)," 12 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The raptors often don;t emerge to hunt until sun hits the hills, and in turn, ground squirrels then surface from their holes, Goodall said. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Golden eagles are on spectacular display at East Bay's Los Vaqueros Reservoir," 18 Mar. 2021 Vaccine passports are not yet widely available, but several private companies and government agencies are working on different versions that should begin to surface widely in the first half of 2021. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Everything you need to know about vaccine passports," 29 Dec. 2020 Questions over liability prompted some agencies to stop helping Portland and could surface in court proceedings for years amid lawsuits alleging excessive force. oregonlive, "Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office requested protest police help from Washington agencies under Oregon-specific agreement," 3 Oct. 2020 Intensity of the cyclogenesis can be stronger if the mountains interact with a developing baroclinc wave, a wave featured associated with differences in temperature, wind shear, and surface frontal features. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, "Meteorology ‘101’ Of The Potentially Historic Snowstorm In The Rockies This Weekend," 12 Mar. 2021 Witnesses saw Elmezayen quickly surface and swim to a ladder on the wharf. Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, "Man who drowned his two autistic sons in L.A. harbor gets 212 years in prison," 11 Mar. 2021 The suit aimed to dissolve the group following an 18-month investigation that helped surface those allegations. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "NRA sues New York attorney general over 'blatant and malicious retaliation campaign'," 24 Feb. 2021 Differential vaccination gives that attack surface a whole new terrain. Adam Rogers, Wired, "‘We’re Vaccinated. Everyone Wants to Visit. Now What?’," 5 Mar. 2021 The dive master signaled for everyone to surface, but the group lost sight of Fisher while returning to the mooring line, the sheriff’s office said. orlandosentinel.com, "Texas woman goes missing while diving wreck off Florida coast," 3 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for surface

Time Traveler

The first known use of surface was circa 1600

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Statistics for surface

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surface. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce surface (audio) \

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 How to pronounce surface (audio) \

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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Comments on surface

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