\ ˈsərj How to pronounce surge (audio) \
surged; surging

Definition of surge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to rise and fall actively : toss a ship surging in heavy seas
2 : to rise and move in waves or billows : swell the sea was surging
3 : to slip around a windlass, capstan, or bitts used especially of a rope
4 : to rise suddenly to an excessive or abnormal value the stock market surged to a record high
5 : to move with a surge or in surges felt the blood surging into his face— Harry Hervey she surged past the other runners

transitive verb

: to let go or slacken gradually surge a rope



Definition of surge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a swelling, rolling, or sweeping forward like that of a wave or series of waves a surge of interest
2a : a large wave or billow : swell
b(1) : a series of such swells or billows
(2) : the resulting elevation of water level
3a : a movement (such as a slipping or slackening) of a rope or cable
b : a sudden jerk or strain caused by such a movement
4 : a transient sudden rise of current or voltage in an electrical circuit

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Synonyms for surge

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of surge in a Sentence

Verb We all surged toward the door. She surged past the other runners. Thoughts of what could happen were surging through his mind. Housing prices have surged in recent months. Interest in the sport has been surging. Noun The sport is enjoying a surge in popularity. a surge of support for the candidate There was a sudden surge toward the door. There has been a surge of immigrants into the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The coronavirus pandemic continues to surge in several states across the country, and while new cases have declined since a late-July spike, millions remain unemployed. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Why lawmakers may choose a more targeted approach for the second round of COVID stimulus," 16 Sep. 2020 Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge through the country, movie theaters are pressing ahead with plans to reopen, but the moviegoing experience is probably going to look a bit different for quite a while. Tyler Aquilina,, "Movie theaters announce COVID-19 health and safety protocols as reopening looms," 21 Aug. 2020 Lawmakers, parents, teachers and students are divided on how to move forward as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge throughout many communities. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "More than 900 students and staff in Georgia school district told to quarantine after reopening last week," 11 Aug. 2020 His response angered artist-run non-profit Artist Rights Alliance, which has sent a letter to Bezos challenging him to pay artists their fair share, as music streaming on Twitch continues to surge. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Musicians Criticize Jeff Bezos' 'Willful Blindness' to Twitch Music Royalties," 10 Aug. 2020 San Francisco has also suspended its reopening plans for indoor dining as cases surge. Anna Kramer,, "More than 2,000 SF area businesses closed permanently during pandemic, Yelp data show," 8 Aug. 2020 President Donald Trump, whose poll numbers are flagging as coronavirus cases surge, has insisted that schools reopen. The Economist, "Most Americans do not want to send their children back to school," 7 Aug. 2020 In a letter dated Monday and addressed to congressional leaders of both parties, the executives painted a dire picture: mass business closures as coronavirus cases surge and the recession deepens. Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, "CEOs to Congress: A lot more small businesses will fail without new aid," 3 Aug. 2020 Organizers also announced that large-scale events, such as a welcome reception for delegates and media and a party for volunteers, are canceled due to coronavirus concerns as cases surge in the U.S. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Scaled-back Democratic National Convention overhauled as state delegates no longer traveling to Milwaukee, event moved out of Fiserv Forum," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In fact, those agencies have urged people to stop spreading claims that antifa members are starting fires, warning that the misinformation is hampering efforts to battle the wildfires and fueling a dangerous surge of vigilantism. Tim Elfrink, Washington Post, "Joe Rogan repeats debunked claim that ‘left-wing people’ are starting Oregon wildfires," 18 Sep. 2020 In addition, hospitals in San Antonio and other regions that meet the 15-percent threshold now can resume normal operations — including elective procedures, which had been restricted while the state fought a summer surge of coronavirus cases. Jeremy Blackman,, "Gov. Abbott loosens COVID restrictions on restaurants, businesses for most of Texas," 17 Sep. 2020 Murders and shootings are up 52% from the same time last year in Chicago, a surge of violence that some are linking to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Chicago homicides up 52%, with vast majority of victims Black or Latino," 17 Sep. 2020 Hurricane Sally battered the Gulf Coast of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday with 100 mph winds, two and a half feet of rain and a surge of seawater. Manuel Bojorquez, CBS News, "Sally leaves Gulf Coast with severe flooding; at least 2 dead," 17 Sep. 2020 Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours Manager Tim Parker says Sally has been a stressful storm because forecasters were predicting a storm surge of as much as 9 feet in his area. The Associated Press,, "Hurricane Sally makes landfall as Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores, Ala.," 16 Sep. 2020 But a legal tussle could further complicate the rollout of contact tracing apps before an expected surge of cases this winter. Gregory Barber, Wired, "A Utah Company Claims It Invented Contact Tracing Tech," 16 Sep. 2020 An indoor rally that Trump held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June was blamed for a surge of virus infections there. Jill Colvin, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump defies virus rules as ‘peaceful protest’ rallies grow," 15 Sep. 2020 Those attributes, combined with the surge of new sales, have opened the market to overseas investors who wouldn’t benefit from the tax-exemption anyway. Danielle Moran,, "U.S. Municipalities Selling Taxable Bonds at Near Record Pace," 15 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surge.' 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 surge


1511, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for surge


earlier, to ride (at anchor) probably in part from Middle French sourgir to cast anchor, land, from Catalan surgir to heave, cast anchor, from Latin surgere to rise, spring up; from sub- up + regere to lead straight; in part from Latin surgere — more at sub-, right

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Time Traveler for surge

Time Traveler

The first known use of surge was in 1511

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Statistics for surge

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Surge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for surge


How to pronounce surge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move very quickly and suddenly in a particular direction
: to suddenly increase to an unusually high level



English Language Learners Definition of surge (Entry 2 of 2)

: a sudden, large increase
: a sudden movement of many people
: a large wave of water


\ ˈsərj How to pronounce surge (audio) \
surged; surging

Kids Definition of surge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to rise suddenly and greatly Prices have surged recently.
2 : to move suddenly and quickly in a particular direction Crowds were surging through the streets.



Kids Definition of surge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a rush like that of a wave She felt a surge of anger.
2 : a large wave surges of water

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