surmount

verb

sur·​mount sər-ˈmau̇nt How to pronounce surmount (audio)
surmounted; surmounting; surmounts

transitive verb

1
: to prevail over : overcome
surmount an obstacle
2
: to get to the top of : climb
3
: to stand or lie at the top of
4
obsolete : to surpass in quality or attainment : excel
surmountable adjective

Did you know?

Our verb mount, meaning "ascend, get up onto", comes from the same Latin root as mountain, and we keep those images in mind when using surmount, since climbing up or over a mountain is a symbol of achievement. The word almost always refers to human effort, and almost always in a positive way; thus, we speak of surmounting difficulties, surmounting problems, surmounting hurdles, surmounting handicaps—you get the idea.

Examples of surmount in a Sentence

an Olympic swimmer who surmounted endless obstacles to achieve her goals
Recent Examples on the Web For Barnett, passion for the cause surmounted the fatigue from two days of intense questioning. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2024 Some obstacles the film fails to surmount, with its female characterization lackluster at best. Courtney Howard, Variety, 13 Mar. 2024 Transitioning from a tax preparer to a CPA involves surmounting hurdles, especially in conquering the REG section of the CPA exam, where extensive study and a robust review course are indispensable, regardless of one’s background in tax strategy. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 In rehearsals of the Shostakovich, for instance, the basses were instructed to slice a bit harder and bow a bit more quickly — a move that almost surmounted the hall’s comparably stingy lows. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2024 So how else can Biden surmount what is arguably the biggest hurdle standing between himself and a second term? Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Look at the design of the shelters at the stations, with their bold stanchions, curved roofs surmounted by heavy finials. Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024 For Abraham Jauregui, who moved to Lahaina from Mexico 20 years ago, the only way to surmount the immense roadblocks ahead is to avoid infighting and work through any deep disagreements over the recovery process. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2024 Many challenges had to be surmounted to fabricate the device. IEEE Spectrum, 16 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'surmount.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French surmunter, from sur- + munter to mount

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of surmount was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near surmount

Cite this Entry

“Surmount.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/surmount. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

surmount

verb
sur·​mount sər-ˈmau̇nt How to pronounce surmount (audio)
1
: overcome sense 1
surmount an obstacle
2
: to get to the top of : climb
3
: to stand or lie at the top of : crown
a weather vane surmounts the roof
surmountable adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on surmount

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