\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

But the struggle to keep this resistant yeast from surging is a warning sign that relying on standard responses won't work. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 One by one, the World Cup’s flashy and glamorous stories have crashed in defeat, from surging Mexico to disappointing Spain to the vanishing stars: Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Bruce Jenkins,, "World Cup: France proves masterful in all phases," 10 July 2018 Gasoline prices in Houston fell slightly last week, but prices across the country remained mostly flat after surging alongside crude oil prices ahead of the July 4 holiday. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Gasoline prices drop slightly in Houston," 9 July 2018 Gasoline prices in San Antonio fell by just over a penny last week while prices across the country remained mostly flat after surging alongside crude oil prices ahead of the July 4 holiday. Katherine Blunt And Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "Gas prices continue to fall in San Antonio," 9 July 2018 Caporella is the chairman, chief executive and controlling shareholder of National Beverage, which has a market value of $5 billion, thanks to surging LaCroix sales. Fox News, "Billionaire behind LaCroix accused of improper touching by pilots," 4 July 2018 Throughout 2017, the price of bitcoin rose stratospherically, driven by a volatile cocktail of surging amateur interest in cryptocurrencies, professional price manipulation, rampant speculation, and techno-utopianism. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Has Bitcoin Entered the Doom Loop?," 29 June 2018 Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards The view of surging spring growth in the foothills is captured most dramatically at the new tasting room of Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. Mike Dunne, sacbee, "Bright and intriguing wines in full bloom at these four foothill wineries | The Sacramento Bee," 9 May 2018 Rafinha burst up the field, playing a neat one-two with Antonio Candreva, before surging in from the right wing and beating Bizzarri on his near post with a clinical low drive., "Udinese 0-4 Inter: Spalletti's Side Storm to Victory as Zebrette Crumble Amid Relegation Pressures," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such areas also experienced a surge in their share of Yelp reviews by visitors to New York, a measure that researchers said reconfirmed their employment findings. Tracy Jan,, "Study suggests white neigborhoods see more economic benefits from Airbnb," 12 July 2018 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016, driven by a dramatic surge in deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Sari Horwitz, Washington Post, "Sessions targets 10 areas in U.S. for crackdown on the sale of fentanyl," 12 July 2018 But this drop may well prove to be temporary, as it was driven by a surge in exports led by soybeans and commercial aircraft. Brooks Jackson,, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018 During a surge in the mussel population in 2004, there were reports of dogs growing sick and dying after eating the shellfish. Tim Prudente,, "Explosion of false dark mussels revives hopes for clearer waters and concern for dogs in Anne Arundel County," 11 July 2018 British Airways reported a 700 percent surge in people searching for flights from the U.K. to Russia. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "England’s Unfamiliar Emotion: Hope," 10 July 2018 For others, the season can cause a surge in body insecurities and disordered eating and thinking, which have the potential to feed depressive episodes. Beth Mccoll, SELF, "A Shout Out to Anyone Who Deals With Depression in the Summer," 6 July 2018 Left unmentioned in the investigative report is how other employees said they were swamped by a surge in demand for concealed weapons permits and didn’t understand the background check system. Steve Contorno, miamiherald, "New information shows deeper problems with bungled concealed-weapon background checks," 6 July 2018 The higher levels of support for immigration are driven by a surge in Democratic enthusiasm, but Republican views are also shifting in the same direction. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Support for immigration is surging in the Trump era," 5 July 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


Statistics for surge

Last Updated

8 Nov 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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