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

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 exhibit also includes a simulator of the lunar landing experience and delves into the engineering breakthroughs that propelled astronauts onto the lunar surface. Hayley Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, "‘One giant leap’: How to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing around Boston," 13 July 2019 An earthquake will begin at a particular point under the Earth’s surface, then move along a fault. Rong-gong Lin Ii, latimes.com, "Ridgecrest earthquake packed the power of 45 nuclear bombs, but its impact was muted," 13 July 2019 Not only were the two wingtips flashing out of the water, but the two tail wings were also visible and rising above the surface. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Giant Manta Ray Stuns Onlookers off Alabama Coast," 12 July 2019 Bartoszek removed his shoes and socks, waded into the pond, felt around with his feet, located the snake, reached under the surface, grabbed it behind the head and brought it out. Gena Steffens, Smithsonian, "The Snakes That Ate Florida," 11 July 2019 Astronauts would travel to the Gateway and transition to the Moon’s surface from there. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al.com, "NASA shakes up spaceflight leadership," 11 July 2019 Gathering mammoth remains from the surface is legal in Yakutia with a permit. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "A Mammoth Problem Emerges in Siberia," 10 July 2019 In fields surrounding the city, the USGS made mock craters to resemble the moon’s surface by exploding holes in fields. Charlie Lapastora, Fox News, "Arizona city played critical role in moon exploration history," 10 July 2019 The Surveyor proved the lunar surface was solid enough to land on. Weldon B. Johnson, azcentral, "How ASU, University of Arizona scientists helped Apollo astronauts land on the moon," 9 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Word surfaced about the severity of the injury and expectations for the No. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "With #WinWithWynnWednesday, Isaiah Wynn a study in the power of positive thinking," 13 July 2019 Her financial gains surfaced in records tied to husband Jeremiah Quarles’ theft case. Miles Moffeit Elvia Limón, Dallas News, "Tax funds stolen by her husband helped a DeSoto councilwoman. Why didn't authorities fully investigate?," 12 July 2019 Warriors World Reports have surfaced in recent weeks about Cousins being problematic behind the scenes with the Warriors. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "DeMarcus Cousins, Quinn Cook agree to sign with Lakers," 6 July 2019 Shanahan resigned suddenly last week after accounts surfaced about his contentious divorce. Washington Post, "Acting Pentagon chief Esper presses NATO on spending in his international debut," 28 June 2019 Kevin Quinn has also been a controversial figure; Madigan sidelined Quinn in recent months after #MeToo allegations surfaced about the political operative. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Biden, Warren among Dem presidential hopefuls campaigning in Chicago in the next 5 days," 27 June 2019 The news comes as reports have surfaced about tension between the Japanese-French automotive alliance. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Waymo strikes a deal with Nissan-Renault to bring driverless cars to Japan and France," 20 June 2019 An embarrassing story would surface about a program, NCAA investigators would move in and, some months or years down the line, slap the program with a postseason ban or scrub some wins from the record book. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "The Sweet 16 Team Without a Coach," 27 Mar. 2019 Toward the end, a crucial story that keeps surfacing in tantalizing fragments, about the death of Watak, Marwand’s uncle, is finally told in its entirety—in Pashto. Lidija Haas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 Jan. 2019

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

16 Jul 2019

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 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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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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