sur·​ro·​gate | \ ˈsər-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce surrogate (audio) , ˈsə-rə-\
surrogated; surrogating

Definition of surrogate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to put in the place of another:
a : to appoint as successor, deputy, or substitute for oneself


noun, often attributive
sur·​ro·​gate | \ ˈsər-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce surrogate (audio) , ˈsə-rə-, -gət How to pronounce surrogate (audio) \

Definition of surrogate (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : one appointed to act in place of another : deputy
b : a local judicial officer in some states (such as New York) who has jurisdiction over the probate of wills, the settlement of estates, and the appointment and supervision of guardians
2 : one that serves as a substitute

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Examples of surrogate in a Sentence


He could not attend the meeting, so he sent his surrogate. The governor and her surrogates asked the public to support the change. They had their baby through a surrogate.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their parents later resolved to use surrogacy to continue the family line, and the Laotian surrogate was taken to China after doctors at a hospital in Laos implanted two of the embryos. Mike Ives, New York Times, "Cambodia Police Arrest 5 in Raid on Surrogacy Operation," 25 June 2018 Although the surrogate's identity still remained somewhat private, viewers got an inside look at her intimate conversation with the Kardashian-Jenner family. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "Kim Kardashian's Surrogate Finally Meets the Family in "KUWTK" Season Finale," 5 Mar. 2018 The court’s statement did little to lift the veil of mystery over Shigeta, who had minimal contact with the surrogates. Kaweewit Kaewjinda, USA TODAY, "Thai court gives secretive Japanese millionaire custody of 13 surrogate kids," 20 Feb. 2018 Experts now recommend gestational surrogacy, where a surrogate fetus is implanted with an embryo made from donor sperm and egg — as opposed to traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate is inseminated with sperm. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The Complicated History of Surrogacy From 'Baby M' to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West," 16 Jan. 2018 Benjamin Allen Cohen Andy Cohen welcomed his first child, born via surrogate, on Feb. 4. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "All the Adorable Celebrity Babies Born in 2019," 17 Mar. 2019 Gabrielle Union publicly shared her infertility problems with her husband, Dwyane Wade, last fall, among them a harrowing eight failed IVF cycles and multiple miscarriages, before having a daughter at the age of 46 via surrogate. Jancee Dunn, Vogue, "How California Became the World’s Fertility Treatment Destination," 13 Mar. 2019 Kim and husband Kanye West are currently expecting their fourth child later this year, via surrogate. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Daughters, North & Chicago, Look Just Like Her in This Photo," 18 Feb. 2019 Bravo star Andy Cohen was shamed for taking his newborn son, who was born via surrogate on Feb. 4, on an airplane. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "Andy Cohen Was Just Dad-Shamed for Taking His Newborn on an Airplane," 12 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'surrogate.' 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 surrogate


1533, in the meaning defined above


1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for surrogate


Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare to choose in place of another, substitute, from sub- + rogare to ask — more at right

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Time Traveler for surrogate

The first known use of surrogate was in 1533

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More Definitions for surrogate



English Language Learners Definition of surrogate

: a person or thing that takes the place or performs the duties of someone or something else


sur·​ro·​gate | \ -gət, -ˌgāt How to pronounce surrogate (audio) \

Medical Definition of surrogate

: one that serves as a substitute: as
a : a representation of a person substituted through symbolizing (as in a dream) for conscious recognition of the person
b : a drug substituted for another drug


sur·​ro·​gate | \ ˈsər-ə-gət How to pronounce surrogate (audio) \

Legal Definition of surrogate

1 : one acting in the place of another especially : one standing in loco parentis to a child
2 often capitalized : the judge or judicial officer of a Surrogate's Court or Surrogate's office

Other Words from surrogate

surrogate adjective

History and Etymology for surrogate

Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare subrogare to substitute, from sub- in place of, under + rogare to ask

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More from Merriam-Webster on surrogate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with surrogate

Spanish Central: Translation of surrogate

Nglish: Translation of surrogate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of surrogate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on surrogate

What made you want to look up surrogate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

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