\ˈsərj \
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

billow, swell, wave

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Examples of surge in a Sentence


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.


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

Homeowners saw their equity holdings surge by $1.01 trillion from the first quarter of 2017 to the same period this year. Kenneth R. Harney,, "Doomsday Predictions On Tax Cuts Have Not Come True — Yet," 14 June 2018 Hunter-Reay took advantage and surged to a win of more than 11 seconds. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Grand Prix: Ryan Hunter-Reay makes a splash with celebration," 3 June 2018 Roseanne's comparatively scant hours on air did little to move the overall dial for ABC, despite the series surging to the top slot in all of TV. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "How NBC Won the 2017-18 Season By Such a Wide Margin," 23 May 2018 The states that tried deep income tax cuts over the last three decades have not seen their economies surge as a result. Alvin Chang, Vox, "How tax cuts for the rich led to the Oklahoma teachers strike," 9 Apr. 2018 Then, even as costs were surging, sales began to fall. John Schmid, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Trump's global trade war expected to inflict economic causalities in Wisconsin and across nation," 10 July 2018 As cool outflow surged ahead of the encroaching storms, strong winds kicked up a curtain of dust high into the sky. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "‘One of the most incredible sights’: Monster dust storm sweeps across Southern Arizona," 10 July 2018 Any fallout thus far appears to be muted as American economic growth surged in the second quarter. Don Lee,, "U.S. and China slap big tariffs on each other, escalating trade fight," 6 July 2018 Shorts lost a reported $2 billion in just the first half of June as Tesla stock surged. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Agility, Persistence, and Pain Behind Tesla’s Model 3 Manufacturing Turnaround," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Long Island City has seen a surge of residential development in the last decade, with towers lining the East River near the landmark Pepsi-Cola sign. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Soaring Condo Project Coming to Long Island City," 8 July 2018 There was a surge in energy whenever Redd jumped into the lower bowl. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "J. Cole previews 'KOD' tour with scorching — but short — Summerfest show in Milwaukee," 3 July 2018 Idaho has seen a surge in interest and involvement in Democratic politics, said Shelby Scott, political director for the state party. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, "Democrats see a surge in interest, but can that create a 'blue wave' in red Idaho?," 30 June 2018 Migrants sometimes use Morocco as a jumping-off point to reach Spain, which has seen a surge in migrants coming across by sea this year. The Christian Science Monitor, "EU agrees on migrant plan, but details vague," 29 June 2018 Migrants sometimes use Morocco as a jumping-off point to reach Spain, which has seen a surge in migrants coming across by sea this year. Washington Post, "EU leaders claim breakthrough deal on migrants," 28 June 2018 Most members of the state’s solidly Democratic congressional delegation have seen a surge in prospective interns, as the Trump administration moves through its second year of governance. James Sullivan,, "Political internships surge in the age of Trump," 27 June 2018 And the YouthWorks program has seen a surge in applicants this year. Ian Duncan,, "Baltimore hosts job fair for students about to graduate from high school," 9 May 2018 Pull Out European parties to the deal — some of whom, like Germany, have seen a surge in exports to Iran since the deal came into effect in January 2016 — have tried in recent weeks to persuade Trump not to pull out. Time, "President Rouhani Warns the U.S. of 'Historic Regret' if President Trump Exits the Iran Nuclear Deal," 7 May 2018

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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Learn More about surge

Dictionary Entries near surge

surf whiting




surge chamber

surge gap


Phrases Related to surge

surge protector

Statistics for surge

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for surge

The first known use of surge was in 1511

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More Definitions for surge



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 \
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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Comments on surge

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