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 That leaves Becky with—in her opinion—the only clear-eyed view of her younger brother: as an expert manipulator, too slick by half, with a surfeit of brains and a deficit of soul. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 But on top of threatening small businesses still trying to grab a foothold in an emerging industry, this surfeit of cannabis also threatens the integrity of marijuana legalization itself. Chris Roberts, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 There may have been no Olympic Games in the wartime year of 1940, but there was a surfeit of intellectual, ideological, and theological gymnastics., 23 Sep. 2021 Critics such as Jonathan Rauch insist that a surfeit of popular sovereignty has tipped the delicate balance of self-governance in the direction of strongman ethnic nationalism. Jordan Michael Smith, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2021 Now Hollis and three other dancers are suing six clubs in Oregon, a place known for its surfeit of adult entertainment thanks to the state Constitution’s strong free speech protections. oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2021 Melvil Poupaud plays a commitment-phobe vacationing in Brittany who somehow winds up juggling a surfeit of commitments to women. New York Times, 2 Sep. 2021 For Ali Hedieloo, who makes wooden furniture in Iran's capital, Instagram is more than just a surfeit of glossy images. The Christian Science Monitor, 4 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near surfeit

surf duck


surfeit water

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surfeit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of surfeit

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

More from Merriam-Webster on surfeit

Nglish: Translation of surfeit for Spanish Speakers


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