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

Definition of surrogate

 (Entry 1 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
3 : one that serves as a substitute


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

Definition of surrogate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

Examples of surrogate in a Sentence

Noun 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 People broke the news Tuesday (June 1) that the former *NSYNC member and film actor, who have been married since 2014, are expecting a boy and a girl in November via surrogate. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 1 June 2021 Such was the case for Elad Dvash-Banks and his partner, Andrew Banks, who had twins together, conceived via surrogate in Canada. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 20 May 2021 Ben was born via surrogate back in February 2019, making Cohen a first-time father. Georgia Slater,, 14 May 2021 Tig and Stephanie then became parents of two twin sons, Max and Finn, who were born via surrogate on June 26, 2016. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 2 May 2021 Haaland returned the favor, traveling the country as a surrogate for Warren during the presidential campaign and serving as a campaign co-chair., 1 May 2021 Together Together, Ed Helms’ character reflects on how others perceive his decision to pursue having a child by employing a surrogate. Toni Fitzgerald, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 The models were based on the spread of bacteriophage aerosols used as a surrogate to estimate the airborne spread of the coronavirus. Angela Dewan, CNN, 15 Apr. 2021 In 2008, Bowser worked on the Obama for America Campaign as a surrogate, often speaking on behalf of then-Senator Obama in support of his candidacy for President. Essence, 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bush was a supporter of — and surrogate for — his dad when Jeb Bush famously clashed with Trump in the 2016 primary. Patrick Svitek, San Antonio Express-News, 19 May 2021 When prospective parents visit a fertility clinic for IVF treatment, the clinic retrieves enough eggs and sperm to create several embryos, and only a few of those will end up in the hopeful mother’s (or surrogate’s) uterus. Kiona N. Smith, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2021 On October 8, Pate visited the Dally farm to witness the embryos’ transfer to surrogate Gotland ewes. Michael Alberty | For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 6 Mar. 2021 The campaign also created a Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on climate, with Ocasio-Cortez as co-chair and Varshini Prakash, co-founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, serving as the Sanders surrogate. Mari Uyehara, The New Republic, 18 Jan. 2021 Gabriel is Milton’s high school teammate from Hawaii and surrogate little brother who, coincidentally, got his first start at Mililani High School in Honolulu after Milton was injured during his senior season. Mike Bianchi,, 3 Dec. 2020 Already, reports had emerged of parents traveling to Ukraine to pick up babies born to surrogate mothers, as the Straubs were doing, but being turned away at the border, leaving as many as 100 infants in legal limbo. NBC News, 9 June 2020 Her memories are replete with references to surrogate grandmas and second mothers, godparents and godchildren, aunts and uncles, none of whom are related. Molly Ball, Time, 3 Oct. 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


1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1533, in the meaning defined above

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of surrogate was in 1533

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Statistics for surrogate

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surrogate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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