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

But there is plenty happening below the surface, most often revealed by Aparicio’s expressive eyes. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Roma, from celebrated director Alfonso Cuarón, is one of the year’s best movies," 20 Nov. 2018 The submarine rests at a depth of 920 meters (more than 3,000 feet) below the surface of the South Atlantic—over three times its safe operating depth and well below the crush depth of the sub. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Doomed Argentine sub found a year after its disappearance," 19 Nov. 2018 And for good reason: Studies have shown that infrared light waves can penetrate the skin up to 1.5 inches below the surface, and could generate a range of therapeutic effects. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Received an Infrared Sauna for Her Birthday," 13 Nov. 2018 Leonard also raised concerns that marine and wildlife could be entangled by the net that will hang below the surface. Fox News, "Massive boom hopes to corral Pacific Ocean's plastic trash," 8 Sep. 2018 Scratching below the surface, there's no evidence to justify these theories. Salvador Rizzo, chicagotribune.com, "There is an unfounded conspiracy theory about the Supreme Court and Trump Tower Chicago," 14 July 2018 Scratching below the surface, there’s no evidence to justify these theories. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "The thinly-sourced theories about Trump’s loans and Justice Kennedy’s son," 12 July 2018 Musk’s Boring Company, of course, is involved in below-surface tunneling. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Elon Musk Would Be 'Happy to Help' Rescue the Thai Boys Stuck in a Cave," 5 July 2018 The boys were located taking shelter on a ledge surrounded by water more than a mile from the cave's main entrance, and about half a mile below the surface. Kim Hjelmgaard And Thomas Maresca, USA TODAY, "Rescuers start teaching trapped Thai cave boys to swim and dive," 4 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If dough is sticking to surface, lift it and lightly flour surface. Lisa Ludwinski, WSJ, "Pies That Bind: Thanksgiving Recipes From the Heartland," 15 Nov. 2018 Even podcasts, which can be more difficult to surface with voice assistants, are seeing a boost. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 While the heat from an evening shower may feel phenomenal on a chilly day, Marchbein advises to limit rinse time to five minutes or less and to use warm—not hot—water, which only adds to surface dehydration. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The Definitive Guide to Preventing Dry Skin—From a Top Dermatologist," 26 Oct. 2018 In 2014, reports of his identity being misused started to surface on tip reports of anti-scam websites like Scamlot.com. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Online Scammers Won't Stop Impersonating This Four-Star Army General," 14 Aug. 2018 This movie outing comes at the same time that reports about how Khloe's family feels about the whole situation start to surface. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "Here's Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's FULL Relationship Timeline," 26 July 2018 Traditionally, YouTube's algorithm has prioritized a user's personal viewing history, as well as the context of the video that user is currently watching, when deciding what videos to surface next. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "YouTube Debuts Plan to Promote and Fund 'Authoritative' News," 9 July 2018 In these negotiations, new tensions are sure to surface. Time, "Mexico's New President AMLO and Donald Trump Have Promised Mutual 'Respect.' How Long Can That Last?," 3 July 2018 Several hundred companies responded to the tax cuts by paying workers bonuses or hiking hourly wages, but any significant income growth has yet to surface in the overall economy. Washington Post, "AP FACT CHECK: Were tax cuts really an ‘economic miracle?’," 30 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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Statistics for surface

Last Updated

3 Dec 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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