\ 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 stock has surged as much as 66% since then as demand for remote-working software exploded. Thomas Buckley,, "Coffee IPO Set to Be Europe’s Biggest Since March 2019," 19 May 2020 Cyberattacks against businesses and their employees have surged this year as hackers take advantage of the disruption caused by the pandemic. Washington Post, "Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder," 19 May 2020 While the drive-ins used to be a thing of the past, the trend has surged over the last few weeks. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "Yankee Stadium Is Being Turned Into a Drive-in Concert and Movie Venue This Summer," 18 May 2020 Demand for funeral bouquets and wreaths has surged as people succumb to Covid-19. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "As Coronavirus Limits Funeral Attendance, Demand Surges for Flower Delivery," 18 May 2020 Over the last two weeks that the state has slowly reopened, COVID-19 cases have surged in some areas that include a growing outbreak in the Texas Panhandle. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Houston coronavirus updates: What you need to know for May 18," 18 May 2020 And in Minnesota, cases around St. Cloud and Minneapolis have surged over the past two weeks. New York Times, "Coronavirus Live Updates: States Reopen With Outbreak Control ‘Right on the Edge’," 16 May 2020 The platform has surged in popularity as a pivotal communication tool – but has also fallen under sharper scrutiny over its security. Fox News, "Coronavirus crisis: Online church services attacked by hackers using child pornography," 16 May 2020 With users home during the coronavirus pandemic, usage of Facebook’s communications products has surged. Sarah Frier, Fortune, "Facebook buys GIF library Giphy for $400 million," 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hicks said Oregon’s surge in capacity is not only because of those supplies but also because officials have compiled a more thorough testing list. oregonlive, "Coronavirus testing capacity surges to nearly 38,000 tests a week, Oregon Health Authority says," 20 May 2020 But in many regions, the surge was smaller than anticipated — or hasn’t materialized. Bernard J. Wolfson,, "Coronavirus pandemic hurting pediatric hospitals, too," 16 May 2020 The surge of homeowners seeking to cut their monthly bills is overwhelming lenders who are struggling to respond to inquires and get loans processed. Prashant Gopal,, "U.S. Mortgage Rates ‘Somehow, Some Way’ Rise Amid Market Turmoil," 13 May 2020 Many medical experts and government officials expect a second wave of infections as states begin to relax social distancing rules, though the new surge is not likely to show up in the data until late summer or early fall. Los Angeles Times, "Unemployment hits 14.7% in April. How long before 20.5 million lost jobs come back?," 8 May 2020 The surge in job losses is renewing worries about the state’s reliance on visitor spending and need to diversify its economy. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Coronavirus Hits Hawaii’s Tourism-Dependent Workforce Hard," 4 May 2020 According to Kelly DiCicco, manager of adoptions promotions at the ASPCA Adoption Center, the surge in adoptions is definitely admirable. Nikhita Mahtani, House Beautiful, "Should You Get a Dog Right Now?," 4 May 2020 The surge of need is unlike anything seen before by the Community Food Bank, the state’s largest provider of emergency food, officials said, surpassing the demand that followed Hurricane Sandy and the 19-month Great Recession that ended in 2009. Tracey Tully,, "Food lines a mile long in America’s second-wealthiest state," 2 May 2020 The surge is an increase of more than 3,000% since early March, when the figures sat in low 200,000s. Robyn Merrett,, "Stars from One Day At a Time, The Facts of Life and The Love Boat Unite for Coronavirus Relief," 28 Apr. 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Surge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on surge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for surge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surge

Spanish Central: Translation of surge

Nglish: Translation of surge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surge for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about surge

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