1 of 2


sur·​feit ˈsər-fət How to pronounce surfeit (audio)
: an overabundant supply : excess
: an intemperate or immoderate indulgence in something (such as food or drink)
: disgust caused by excess


2 of 2


surfeited; surfeiting; surfeits

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)
surfeiter noun

Did you know?

There is an abundance—you could almost say a surfeit—of English words that come from the Latin verb facere, meaning "to do." The connection to facere is fairly obvious for words spelled with "fic," "fac," or "fec," such as sacrifice, fact, and infect. For words like stupefy (a modification of the Latin word stupefacere) and hacienda (originally, in Old Spanish and Latin, facienda) the facere relation is not so apparent. As for surfeit, a "c" was dropped along the path that led from Latin through Anglo-French, where facere became faire ("to do") and sur- was added to make the verb surfaire, meaning "to overdo." It is the Anglo-French noun surfet ("excess"), however, that Middle English borrowed, eventually settling on the spelling surfeit.

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

Noun ended up with a surfeit of volunteers who simply got in each other's way Verb having surfeited ourselves on raw oysters, we had to decline the rest of the restaurant's offerings
Recent Examples on the Web
But the new season suffers from both a surfeit of ideas and a lack of vision, relegating beloved relationships to the background while larding the show with characters and story lines that fail to compel. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 29 June 2024 In the case of Fox, the four transfer schools created a surfeit of broadcast-worthy game inventory, a windfall that coincided nicely with its ambitions to establish a new college football window. Anthony Crupi,, 14 June 2024
But surfeited with at-home entertainment options, former subscribers are preferring the flexibility of single-ticket sales. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2023 Theatergoers, surfeited with entertainment options at home, have been less inclined to commit to season subscriptions, placing more pressure on programming to come up with sure-fire hits. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2023 See all Example Sentences for surfeit 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'surfeit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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


Dictionary Entries Near surfeit

Cite this Entry

“Surfeit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
sur·​feit ˈsər-fət How to pronounce surfeit (audio)
: a supply that is more than enough : excess
: an enjoyment of something (as food or drink) beyond what is good or necessary
: disgust caused by excess


2 of 2 verb
: to feed, supply, or enjoy to the point of excess

More from Merriam-Webster on surfeit

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