\ 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

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

Yoon went on to oversee a revival in Fila’s fortunes, sending shares of his company surging. Yoojung Lee, Fortune, "Fila Making Strides With 1990s Fashions. Remember Dad Shoes?," 24 June 2019 After several years of surging growth, passenger traffic in March grew at the weakest rate in nine years, although April was slightly better. Angela Charlton,, "American Airlines deal for 50 Airbus jets puts pressure on Boeing to launch new model," 19 June 2019 Still, internet users are eager to find out more about what’s happening in Hong Kong, with searches for the city surging in China in recent days, Reuters reported. Echo Huang, Quartz, "People in China are using song lyrics as code to voice support for Hong Kong," 14 June 2019 An annual report published in May by the Anti-Defamation League found that anti-Semitic incidents in the US remained near historic levels in 2018 after surging the previous year. James Masters, CNN, "Roman Abramovich donates $5m to Jewish Agency to fight anti-Semitism," 13 June 2019 Housing: Aiming to spur residential construction and get more of the surging number of homeless people off the streets, Newsom proposed a multibillion-dollar housing and homelessness package. Alexei Koseff,, "Where Gov. Gavin Newsom wins and loses in newly passed California budget," 13 June 2019 The pharaoh defied his advisers and surprised his foes by surging through a treacherous mountain pass to mount a deadly direct attack on Megiddo. National Geographic, "Was this ancient Egypt's greatest military leader?," 10 June 2019 Franklin County health officials issued warnings of surging overdoses earlier in the week. Terry Demio,, "OD alert issued after 23 overdose calls, 12 hospitalized in 24 hours," 1 Apr. 2019 Unidentified gunmen on motorbikes attacked two villages in central Mali, killing at least 41 people in a part of the country where ethnic reprisal attacks have surged in recent months, a local mayor said Tuesday. Washington Post, "World Digest: June 18, 2019," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The policy is a sharp contrast from the last surge of Central American migrants in 2014. Dallas News, "Doctors say feds keep them in the dark about migrants' health, ask for access to federal facilities," 2 July 2019 The deaths came amid a surge in migrants, mostly from Central America, seeking to enter the United States and apply for asylum. Alexander Renderos And Patrick J. Mcdonnell,, "Drowned father and daughter mourned at El Salvador cemetery," 1 July 2019 State health data have not shown a surge of patients seeking addiction treatment. Jack Healy,, "Reefer madness or pot paradise? The surprising legacy of the place where legal weed began," 30 June 2019 The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is on pace to log a surge of 17% for the first half of the year. . Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Stocks on pace to post best first half in two decades. Trade deal needed for more gains," 28 June 2019 Included in the spending package is $30 million to reimburse states and local governments for expenses tied to the surge of migrants, and money to pay for human trafficking operations and for travel and overtime costs for personnel. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "How Arizona's senators and Congress members voted on the $4.6 billion border funding bill," 27 June 2019 Also on Tuesday, CBP’s acting commissioner, John Sanders, resigned, continuing the instability in the leadership of agencies overseeing border operations amid a surge in the migrant population. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "Migrant children are suffering at the border. But reporters are kept away from the story.," 25 June 2019 Nearly 2,500 children between the ages of 13-17 are at the Homestead Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, which opened during the Obama administration, closed briefly and was reopened in March 2018 amid a surge in arrivals. Skyler Swisher,, "‘They don’t belong here.’ Democratic candidates use Homestead migrant shelter as backdrop to blast Trump immigration policies.," 25 June 2019 Amid the surge in teenage use, the FDA in March moved up that deadline to 2021. Reuters, The Mercury News, "San Francisco is first US city to ban sale of e-cigarettes," 25 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near surge

surf whiting




surge chamber

surge gap


Statistics for surge

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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