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sur·​round sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio)
surrounded; surrounding; surrounds

transitive verb

: to enclose on all sides : envelop
the crowd surrounded her
: to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest entry 2
: to form or be a member of the entourage of
flatterers who surround the king
: to constitute part of the environment of
surrounded by poverty
: to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle
a wall surrounds the old city
: to cause to be surrounded by something
surrounded himself with friends


2 of 2


: something (such as a border or ambient environment) that surrounds
from urban centre to rural surroundEmrys Jones

Example Sentences

Verb A wall surrounds the old city. They had the suspect surrounded. She was suddenly surrounded by a crowd of excited fans. There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the decision. His departure was surrounded by secrecy. Noun the vast, featureless surround of the desert was strangely appealing to him See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Candidates are sought for Court Members will be awarded various prizes and gifts, and become goodwill ambassadors for Vista, Bonsall and the surrounding communities. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 May 2023 But their vision is starkly different from that commonly found in poorer neighborhoods, in surrounding mountain towns and heartland provinces, where conservative religious voters have long made up President Erdoğan’s intensely loyal base. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 May 2023 The layout comprises five generous bedrooms, including a massive primary suite with a bathroom that overlooks the surrounding grasslands. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 25 May 2023 In another corner, wool bouclé club chairs surround a smaller occasional table set at the low, ideal height for cocktails. ELLE Decor, 24 May 2023 At a mural dedicated to Xavier in downtown Uvalde, his face is surrounded by stars. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 24 May 2023 Most recently, Webb's technology discovered water vapor surrounding a comet, but surprisingly there was no carbon dioxide found, as detailed in a study published in the journal Nature. Devika Rao, The Week, 24 May 2023 The dramatic, yearslong metanarrative surrounding the show — co-created by Abel Tesfaye, a.k.a. Vulture, 22 May 2023 Take style notes from the sleek and simple matte black fire pit surrounded by spacious sofas with contemporary graphic throw pillows piled on. Alyssa Longobucco, House Beautiful, 17 May 2023
The shower surround is also Italian porcelain tile. John R. Ellement,, 24 May 2023 Time here is spent soaking it all up and immersing yourself in the surrounds and culture through the people, forcing you to go with the flow. Rooksana Hossenally, Forbes, 6 May 2023 The shower surround and floor are light brown tile. Benjamin C Tankersley, Washington Post, 26 Apr. 2023 Architect Andre Herrero, of Charlap-Hyman Herrero, designed a steel fireplace surround with double doors to conceal the living room TV. Bebe Howorth, ELLE Decor, 18 Apr. 2023 One of the biggest budget savers was the fireplace surround, which was originally meant to be stone and then plaster. Jessica Cherner, House Beautiful, 8 Mar. 2023 The heavy stone surround gracefully follows the curve of the patio. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Feb. 2023 Adding to the coziness is the original wood-burning fireplace with a Tennessee fieldstone surround. Rhonda Reinhart, Country Living, 17 May 2023 Getting there requires a car or an Uber, but the property’s expansive natural surrounds, open spaces, and native wildlife will tempt you to just hang out on-site. Tasha Zemke, Outside Online, 6 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, to flood, inundate, from Anglo-French surunder, from Late Latin superundare, to overflow, from Latin super- + unda wave; influenced in meaning by round entry 5 — more at water

First Known Use


circa 1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1893, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of surround was circa 1616

Dictionary Entries Near surround

Cite this Entry

“Surround.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
sur·​round sə-ˈrau̇nd How to pronounce surround (audio)
: to enclose on all sides : encircle


2 of 2 noun
: something (as a border) that surrounds

More from Merriam-Webster on surround

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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