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

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: Noun Harris’s prosecutorial flair at congressional hearings has inspired its own surfeit of viral clips. Lauren Michele Jackson, The New Yorker, "The Racial Politics of Kamala Harris’s Performance Style," 17 Oct. 2020 Then, as now, only green thumbs with a surfeit of greenbacks could consider these designer takes. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Latest Trend in Menswear Is…Gardening?," 13 Oct. 2020 The possibility for giant predatory sharks was set in place by the needs of embryos and their mothers, and a surfeit of marine mammals offered an unprecedented opportunity to megalodon to grow far larger than any carnivorous shark before or since. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Cannibalism in the Womb May Have Made Megalodon a Titanic Terror," 5 Oct. 2020 When the moose flourished, a surfeit of easy prey led the wolf population to increase. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "What Wolves Can Teach Us About Covid and the Economy," 13 Aug. 2020 This minor irony also speaks to the theme of scarcity amid abundance: The surrounding cosmos is lit like chandeliers by a surfeit of stars. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Thirsty for solutions," 23 Sep. 2020 That very lack of worker protections in the pandemic—more than a surfeit of evidence that offices can be made safe while the country continues to battle outbreaks—is precisely what propels the office reopening industry. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "The Rise of the Creepy Reopening Industry," 4 Aug. 2020 But thanks to our proximity to various screens and a surfeit of material to view on them, this year is turning into something of a golden age for movie watching—even as it must be done at home and in select company. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "The Staying Inside Guide: War Films of Quiet Heroism," 10 June 2020 The Vast of Night also distinguishes itself with a surfeit of cinematic style. Tyler Aquilina,, "The Vast of Night director was 'the last person to know' about his DIY sci-fi film's success," 11 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for surfeit

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

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Surfeit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for surfeit


How to pronounce surfeit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surfeit

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

More from Merriam-Webster on surfeit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surfeit

Nglish: Translation of surfeit for Spanish Speakers

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