sur·​fi·​cial ˌsər-ˈfi-shəl How to pronounce surficial (audio)
: of or relating to a surface
surficial geologic processes

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Even if astronauts can avoid radiation exposure and muscle degeneration, the moon’s surficial soil—called regolith—itself poses another tricky problem. Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, 22 Oct. 2020 This aquifer does receive recharge and is not yet overtaxed, but involves more concerns than pumping out of a surficial gravel aquifers near Staples or Benson. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, 9 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surficial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


surface + -icial (as in superficial)

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of surficial was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near surficial

Cite this Entry

“Surficial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

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