surf

noun
\ ˈsərf How to pronounce surf (audio) \

Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the swell of the sea that breaks upon the shore
2 : the foam, splash, and sound of breaking waves

surf

verb
surfed; surfing; surfs

Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to ride the surf (as on a surfboard)
2 : to scan a wide range of offerings for something of interest

transitive verb

: to scan the offerings of (such as television or the Internet) for something of interest

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from surf

Verb

surfer noun

Synonyms for surf

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of surf in a Sentence

Noun We could hear the roar of the surf. beachgoers romping in the swirling surf Verb He learned to surf when he was living in California.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But for the most part, the company was a means to an end, a source of funds that enabled Chouinard and his friends to surf, climb and travel their way around the world. Author: David Gelles, Anchorage Daily News, "Patagonia v. Trump: Inside a battle over public lands," 6 May 2018 The wind was gusting at over 62 mph (100 kph) by late afternoon. ___ 6:10 p.m. Dorian has lashed the eastern tip of Maine with heavy rain, strong winds and high surf as the storm’s remnants passed offshore. Washington Post, "The Latest: Widespread blackouts as Dorian continues march," 10 Sep. 2019 Dorian also lashed the eastern tip of Maine with heavy rain, strong winds and high surf as the storm passed offshore. Rob Gillies, Twin Cities, "Dorian lashes east Canada, then weakens heading out to sea," 8 Sep. 2019 Dorian also lashed the eastern tip of Maine with heavy rain, strong winds, and high surf as the storm passed offshore. Rob Gillies, BostonGlobe.com, "Dorian still slamming Eastern Canada at hurricane force," 8 Sep. 2019 Dorian wreaks 'complete devastation' in Bahamas, heads toward U.S. Hurricane Dorian hammered the Bahamas with ferocious winds and heavy surf, leaving at least five dead in the archipelago as officials warned the death toll could rise. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Hurricane Dorian batters Bahamas, boat fire kills 25 and Simone Biles speaks out: The Morning Rundown," 3 Sep. 2019 The coast was a celebration of fantasy, a Pacific kingdom of sunshine, sand, and surf — a life of abundance, where anything was possible and nothing was real. Longreads, "The Story of Country Music’s Great Songwriting Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 Earlier, Dorian churned over Abaco island with battering winds and surf during Sunday. RamÓn Espinosa, chicagotribune.com, "Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded, keeps pounding north Bahamas," 2 Sep. 2019 But authorities warned that even if its core did not make U.S. landfall and stayed offshore, the potent storm would likely hammer U.S. coastal areas with powerful winds and heavy surf. Ramón Espinosa, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Dorian tears through Bahamas as dangerous Category 5 storm," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fueled by all this madness, Aoki began spraying champagne on the audience and crowd surfing on giant rafts. Kat Bein, Billboard, "5 Things We Learned While Reading Steve Aoki's Memoir 'Blue: The Color of Noise'," 11 Sep. 2019 Then maybe do a little volcano surfing in Nicaragua. Los Angeles Times, "Escapes: Beyond Barcelona lies the Spain you should know," 29 Aug. 2019 The continent, and South Africa in particular, is a rapidly growing hub for surfing with thousands of miles of coastline and several popular beaches. Stephanie Bailey And Ed Scott-clarke, CNN, "The company cementing Africa's place in the world of surfing," 26 Aug. 2019 Serpents, panthers and bats intermingle with surfing red devils in the de Young galleries. Robert Taylor, The Mercury News, "Tattoo exhibits ready to leave their mark in San Francisco," 23 July 2019 The idea is to give surfers and others who use the water more information to make more informed decisions about when to surf and what might be in the water around them. USA TODAY, "Pride pickup, sphinx on move, Tony Stark’s cabin: News from around our 50 states," 13 June 2019 Kauai's North Shore should also be on your list—the beaches are blissfully quiet and ripe for surfing. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Flight Deal: U.S. to Hawaii from $285 Round-Trip," 5 Oct. 2018 Unlike those living in the mainland, residents of the territory can freely surf the internet and participate in public protests. NBC News, "Hong Kong's Carrie Lam withdraws extradition bill that sparked a protest movement," 4 Sep. 2019 Jeff has surfed the North Shore’s famous Seven Mile Miracle, a stretch that in the winter attracts surfers from around the world to test themselves against frightening waves. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Over-The-Line a homecoming for couple now living in Hawaii," 11 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surf.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of surf

Noun

1685, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1917, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for surf

Noun

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surf

Statistics for surf

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for surf

The first known use of surf was in 1685

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for surf

surf

noun
How to pronounce surf (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: large waves that fall on the shore and the white foam and sound that they produce

surf

verb

English Language Learners Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ride on ocean waves using a special board (called a surfboard)
: to look for information or other interesting things on the Internet

surf

noun
\ ˈsərf How to pronounce surf (audio) \

Kids Definition of surf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the waves of the sea that splash on the shore
2 : the sound, splash, and foam of breaking waves

surf

verb
surfed; surfing

Kids Definition of surf (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to ride the incoming waves of the sea (as on a surfboard)
2 : to scan a wide range of offerings (as on television or the Internet) for something that is interesting or fills a need

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on surf

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surf

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surf

Spanish Central: Translation of surf

Nglish: Translation of surf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surf for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surf

What made you want to look up surf? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!