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


ended up with a surfeit of volunteers who simply got in each other's way


having surfeited ourselves on raw oysters, we had to decline the rest of the restaurant's offerings

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There’s a comforting artifice of looseness to the chatter, a surfeit of personality without ever getting too personal. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, "Confessions of a Pod Person," 27 May 2019 Ernest Hemingway, master of the sense of place, nonetheless is identified with a surfeit of places. David Shribman,, "‘Ernesto’ traces Hemingway’s Cuba years, exploring where Papa lived, fished and drank," 13 June 2019 After a surfeit of press early on, the gilets jaunes’ abrupt decline has been conspicuous. Stephen Paduano, The New Republic, "The Limits of Outrage Politics," 13 June 2019 There was no doubt a surfeit of courtesy—and maybe a bit of nervous humor?—on display Friday morning, when the president rang up Vladimir Putin. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: The President Has Told More Than 10,000 Lies," 5 May 2019 In Manhattan, there are around 500 homes asking $10 million and up, and a surfeit of mega-pricey properties is also appearing in Los Angeles and Miami. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Can the World’s Wealthiest Absorb the High-End Home Glut?," 6 Mar. 2019 For the larger part of the game, there is a surfeit of resources, which limits the scope for interesting tactical blocking moves. Tom Mendelsohn, Ars Technica, "Altiplano review: A brain-tickling board game about… alpacas," 14 July 2018 In three Orange County districts, a surfeit of enthusiastic candidates and conflicting messages from Democratic organizations and allies have converged to complicate the party’s road to victory. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Why Virginia’s Medicaid expansion is a big deal," 31 May 2018 This year, Leonard Bernstein, born 100 years ago come August, is the primary focus of such offerings—a surfeit of them, in fact. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Debussy: His First Performers’ Review: Rare Restoration," 19 June 2018

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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Statistics for surfeit

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surfeit

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

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More Definitions for surfeit



English Language Learners Definition of surfeit

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

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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).


to complain fretfully

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