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 Using a blend of breathable materials—Tencel fibers and Supima cotton—these sheets are designed to wick away moisture and promote airflow to keep the surface of your bed cool and crisp all night long. Jillian Mueller, Health.com, "The 8 Best Bed Sheets to Buy Online in 2021, Based on Expert Opinion," 4 May 2021 But, all these new goals are contingent on Ingenuity’s ability to stay alive on the harsh surface of Mars. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter’s Next Mission? Mapping the Red Planet From Above," 3 May 2021 Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy believes Jenkins is more talented than Russell Okung, whom the Seattle Seahawks drafted with the No. 6 pick in 2010, saying Jenkins is only beginning to scratch the surface of his talent. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago Bears will release Charles Leno. Will 2nd-round pick Teven Jenkins play left tackle now?," 3 May 2021 Earthgrazers are long meteors that appear to skim the surface of the Earth at the horizon. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "One of spring's top skygazing events is coming next week: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower," 1 May 2021 Remove the saucepan from the heat, pour into a glass bowl and immediately press plastic wrap to cover the surface of the custard to avoid a skin from forming. Kristen Massad, Dallas News, "Nostalgic recipe: Old-Fashioned Homemade Banana Pudding," 30 Apr. 2021 But the research is just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of microbial disparities, Amato says. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "A Year Without Germs," 30 Apr. 2021 These greatly expanded monthly stimulus checks, believe it or not, also don’t even scratch the surface of the sprawling mix of benefits that Biden’s American Families Plan envisions. Andy Meek, BGR, "Biden just committed to monthly stimulus checks for four more years," 29 Apr. 2021 Prior research into cancer rates using the archaeological record has been limited to examining the surface of the bone for lesions. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Plague wasn't the only disease that afflicted medieval Britons. Cancer did, too," 29 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Probably would not play Set Piece on dirt, but Snapper Sinclair is a multi-surface star and always dangerous. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Thurby is a pre-Kentucky Derby celebration for locals. Here's a peek inside the 2021 party," 29 Apr. 2021 Amazon has bamboo multi-surface kitchen wipes (three canisters with a total of 210 wipes for $14.99). oregonlive, "The best eco-friendly products for a healthy home: Earth Day is Thursday," 21 Apr. 2021 Each 32-ounce bottle of concentrate can be diluted to make 32 bottles of multi-surface cleaner. Southern Living, "The Best Laundry Spot Removers on Amazon for Every Type of Stain," 16 Apr. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Depending on how the divorce proceedings play out, the futuristic smart house — which boasts a 60-foot swimming pool, library with secret doors and trampoline room — could potentially surface for sale. al, "Bill and Melinda Gates divorce: Who gets $130 million mansion? 242,000 acres of farmland?," 5 May 2021 Depending on how the divorce proceedings play out, the futuristic smart house — which boasts a 60-foot-long swimming pool, library with secret doors and trampoline room — could potentially surface for sale. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "When Bill and Melinda Gates divorce, who gets the 66,000-square-foot mansion?," 4 May 2021 The triggers often surface at the most unexpected times. New York Times, "Frigid Waters: A Fleeting Balm for a Mother’s Unspeakable Grief," 24 Apr. 2021 But the conversation at the center of this week’s controversy did not surface until days later, which was, at that point, several weeks after the call itself took place. Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, "Trump-Georgia phone call story reopens old wounds: Everything you need to know," 17 Mar. 2021 Turkeys often surface from their tunnels after a good rain. Josh Dahlke, Outdoor Life, "The Best States to Hunt Early Season Turkeys," 4 Mar. 2021 Liver failure signs might surface eight hours later and can be fatal. Iris Katz, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Pet Wise: Keeping pets and guests safe during unusual holiday season," 19 Dec. 2020 Dynamic, cascading forms only surface the relevant fields to employees and customers. Ilker Koksal, Forbes, "Atlassian Acquires ThinkTilt," 20 Apr. 2021 But the most thorough of them surface — with a governmental imprimatur — in-depth knowledge that becomes part of the national discourse. Julian Zelizer, CNN, "The fierce urgency of action on racialized police violence," 16 Apr. 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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surface.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surface. Accessed 18 May. 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

Comments on surface

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