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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 competition should benefit consumers, who can expect a surfeit of high-quality fare. The Economist, "The future of entertainment," 14 Nov. 2019 Warren, too, has a surfeit of anti-endorsements to brag about. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Billionaires are the target in this year’s Democratic campaign," 16 Oct. 2019 Few comics have been able to cultivate the intense loyalty that this St. Louis native has, due in large part to Madigan’s tireless touring and surfeit of fresh material. John Wenzel, The Know, "Kathleen Madigan, Eric Andre and more Denver comedy you should see in November," 3 Nov. 2019 The more contemplative second act suffers a bit from a surfeit of point-making plot. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: Opinions Collide in the Explosive Comedy ‘Eureka Day’," 29 Aug. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surfeit

Time Traveler for surfeit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for surfeit

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Surfeit.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on surfeit

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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