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 On his debut, the 23-year-old alto saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins announces himself with a suite of 10 compositions that move with such grace, there’s no time to feel overwhelmed by the surfeit of ideas packed into each one. New York Times, "Best Jazz Albums of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 There may not be a surfeit of purple mountains in this good-news documentary, but the majesty is everywhere, from circus classes in California to reconstituted sardine canneries in Maine. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Our Towns’ Review: On the Ground in Flyover Country," 8 Apr. 2021 Its jury contains not a single Black member — though it has been peopled by a surfeit of British lords. Los Angeles Times, "Pritzker Prize goes to French anti-starchitects who bring life to old buildings," 16 Mar. 2021 Like a corset and a torso, a chain-link fence and a persistent tree, a Bundt pan and a bowlful of batter; by erosion, constriction, neglect, lack of planning, surfeit of planning. Ena Alvarado, The Atlantic, "Elizabeth McCracken on Laughing at Weddings," 8 Apr. 2021 Today the opposite problem looms: a surfeit of money. The Economist, "More is sometimes enough America’s banks have too much cash," 16 Mar. 2021 Right now, there is a surfeit of white men in that suite. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How to find and how to hire talent," 8 Mar. 2021 The Arizona legislative session began with a surfeit of new proposals touching on virtually every aspect of the voting process, often without initially consulting election officials, said Leslie Hoffman, recorder of conservative Yavapai County. Melanie Mason Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "The battle over voting restrictions is playing out nationwide. Arizona Republicans are leading the way," 26 Feb. 2021 For now, India might be an outlier: a country with a surfeit of vaccines with few takers. Abhishyant Kidangoor, Time, "India's Vaccine Rollout Stumbles as COVID-19 Cases Decline. That's Bad News for the Rest of the World," 19 Feb. 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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Last Updated

24 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surfeit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of surfeit

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

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Nglish: Translation of surfeit for Spanish Speakers

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