sur·​ro·​gate | \ˈsər-ə-ˌgāt, 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

b : substitute


noun, often attributive
sur·​ro·​gate | \ˈsər-ə-ˌgāt, ˈsə-rə-, -gət \

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

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

The reality star visited the set of The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss the rapper's recent social media antics as well as to detail the experience of daughter Chicago's birth, who was delivered by surrogate in January. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian Talks Kanye West's Twitter Return, Says He Played Connect Four During Chicago's Birth," 30 Apr. 2018 Flynn served as a key campaign surrogate and adviser during Trump's presidential campaign before being tapped as Trump's point person for national security in the White House. Sophie Tatum, CNN, "Michael Flynn to appear at California congressional candidate's event," 16 Mar. 2018 The race essentially dead-locking in the closing days and weeks has resulted in the outpouring of help from Trump, surrogates and others who are spending big money to bolster Saccone’s get-out-the-vote efforts and attack Lamb on the airways. Joseph Weber, Fox News, "Trump, stand-ins invade Pennsylvania to win Tuesday's House race, keep political mojo," 12 Mar. 2018 The episode, which also showed a pregnant Kylie Jenner, involved a special meeting between Kim and Kanye's surrogate and the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Amy Mackelden, Marie Claire, "Watch Kim K. Introduce Her Surrogate to the Kardashians," 5 Mar. 2018 During the campaign, Trump and his surrogates spent day after day blasting Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as an unforgivable breach of national security. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "The Death of Shame, or the Rise of Shamelessness?," 31 Jan. 2018 Kardashian made the announcement via social media, thanking their surrogate, doctors, and nurses for delivering their bundle of joy. Sydney Scott,, "The Quick Read: Tiffany Haddish's Groupon Story Lands Her A New Gig," 16 Jan. 2018 Without Blunt’s character on hand to serve as an audience surrogate, the film’s sympathies instead shift to Gillick, a cold-blooded murderer with a longstanding personal vendetta against the cartels. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Sicario: Day of the Soldado," 2 July 2018 The first is that the story confirms Stone’s functionally active status as a surrogate for the Trump campaign. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "What Roger Stone’s Latest Russia Lie Reveals About the Scandal," 18 June 2018

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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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 \

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

c : surrogate mother


sur·​ro·​gate | \ˈsər-ə-gət \

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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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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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