sur·​feit | \ ˈsər-fət How to pronounce surfeit (audio) \

Definition of surfeit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an overabundant supply : excess
2 : an intemperate or immoderate indulgence in something (such as food or drink)
3 : disgust caused by excess


surfeited; surfeiting; surfeits

Definition of surfeit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to feed, supply, or give to surfeit

intransitive verb

archaic : to indulge to satiety in a gratification (such as indulgence of the appetite or senses)

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Other Words from surfeit


surfeiter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for surfeit


satiate, sate, surfeit, cloy, pall, glut, gorge mean to fill to repletion. satiate and sate may sometimes imply only complete satisfaction but more often suggest repletion that has destroyed interest or desire. years of globe-trotting had satiated their interest in travel readers were sated with sensationalistic stories surfeit implies a nauseating repletion. surfeited themselves with junk food cloy stresses the disgust or boredom resulting from such surfeiting. sentimental pictures that cloy after a while pall emphasizes the loss of ability to stimulate interest or appetite. a life of leisure eventually begins to pall glut implies excess in feeding or supplying. a market glutted with diet books gorge suggests glutting to the point of bursting or choking. gorged themselves with chocolate

Examples of surfeit in a Sentence


ended up with a surfeit of volunteers who simply got in each other's way


having surfeited ourselves on raw oysters, we had to decline the rest of the restaurant's offerings

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Benedetti brought a surfeit of beauty and elegance to Bruch, but there was no hint of the kind of swinging Wynton Marsalis has lately brought out in her. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The Budapest Festival Orchestra takes over the Bowl," 31 July 2019 The film suffers from a surfeit of characters, many of whom remain underdeveloped. Charles Solomon,, "Review: ‘Sound! Euphonium the Movie — Our Promise: A Brand New Day’ feels undeveloped," 10 July 2019 Industry hadn’t grown like that since the early days of the recovery, when a faster, longer Obama-era boom was aided by a surfeit of excess capacity. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "Trump said he’d rebuild manufacturing. Now it’s in decline. What happened?," 3 Aug. 2018 That being said, with the surfeit of talent in the secondary, a dearth of depth at offensive tackle and tight end, and the need for redundancy at receiver, Stidham has shown enough to roll the dice. Globe Staff,, "A few opinions on the state of the Patriots," 26 Aug. 2019 Acquaintances from the 90s and early 2000s remember Maxwell as an outgoing, slightly cheeky fixture on the party circuit who dressed well and had a surfeit of British charm. Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "After Jeffrey Epstein's Death, What Happens to Ghislaine Maxwell?," 13 Aug. 2019 Stuber also suffers from a surfeit of pointless B-plots that serve only to highlight the talented performers being wasted in them. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Stuber Is an Old-School Buddy Comedy Made for 2019," 12 July 2019 Income growth has lagged partly because for most of the expansion, employers have had a surfeit of workers to choose among when filling jobs, leaving them little pressure to raise pay. Christopher Rugaber,, "Why the wealth gap has grown despite a record economic expansion," 2 July 2019 The city’s downtown construction boom has resulted in a surfeit of glitzy hotel options. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "A Fascinating Long Weekend in Detroit: The Essential Guide," 19 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surfeit.' 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 surfeit


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for surfeit


Middle English surfet, from Anglo-French, from surfaire to overdo, from sur- + faire to do, from Latin facere — more at do

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Statistics for surfeit

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surfeit

The first known use of surfeit was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for surfeit



English Language Learners Definition of surfeit

formal : an amount that is too much or more than you need

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More from Merriam-Webster on surfeit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surfeit

Spanish Central: Translation of surfeit

Nglish: Translation of surfeit for Spanish Speakers

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a bell tower

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