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


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

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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

Iranian surrogates will increase attacks on Israel’s northern border. Karl Rove, WSJ, "My Predictions Are 2 for 3—Thanks, Oscar," 2 Jan. 2019 The edited cells are infused into eggs, chemically fertilized in a lab and implanted into the womb of a surrogate. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Big Tongues and Extra Vertebrae: The Unintended Consequences of Animal Gene Editing," 14 Dec. 2018 The back-and-forth between the sitting and former presidents sets the stage for a battle of the mega-surrogates heading into the November midterms. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Obama returns to campaign trail with fiery speech; Trump counters, 'I fell asleep'," 2 Oct. 2018 In January, Kim Kardashian West’s surrogate gave birth to Kim’s third child, daughter Chicago, and in February, Kylie Jenner gave birth to her first child, daughter Stormi. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Khloé Kardashian Has Given Birth to a Baby Girl," 12 Apr. 2018 Rosenstein appointed Mueller last May and has since supervised his work because Sessions, a key Trump surrogate in 2016, recused himself from dealing with matters involving the campaign. Matt Zapotosky, The Seattle Times, "With the midterms over, special counsel Mueller faces key decisions in Russia investigation," 7 Nov. 2018 Sentencing considerations for Flynn, one of Trump's most vocal campaign surrogates, also come as the government prepares for two trials involving former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Former senior Trump adviser Michael Flynn moves close to wrapping up cooperation with Mueller," 10 July 2018 From then on, Farage and his cohorts became almost de-facto Trump campaign surrogates., "How the 'Bad Boys of Brexit' forged ties with Russia and the Trump campaign and came under scrutiny," 29 June 2018 It has been well documented that this is solely the work of his administration, not Democrats or former President Barack Obama, despite the efforts of Trump surrogates to throw doubt into the mix. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Miami, are we going to let 1,000 children be kept in detention in the dark? Speak up!," 19 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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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 \

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 \

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

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