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

Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to enclose on all sides : envelop the crowd surrounded her
(2) : to enclose so as to cut off communication or retreat : invest entry 2
b : to form or be a member of the entourage of flatterers who surround the king
c : to constitute part of the environment of surrounded by poverty
d : to extend around the margin or edge of : encircle a wall surrounds the old city
2 : to cause to be surrounded by something surrounded himself with friends



Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Examples of surround in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This winter might end up feeling extra long, but that’s all the more reason to surround ourselves with comfort and warmth. New York Times, "The T List: Six Things We Recommend This Week," 17 Dec. 2020 Chief among their concerns is that, if confirmed, Austin will go down the same failed path as a predecessor and surround himself with former and active members of the military. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Liberals fear DOD nominee Gen. Lloyd Austin will place military in civilian roles," 14 Dec. 2020 Their teams still have to surround these young passers with more talent, but the future is indeed bright in Cincinnati and L.A. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Marquee teams highlight biggest surprises, disappointments from first half of NFL season," 9 Nov. 2020 There is a large wealth gap between the city and the communities that surround it, as well as big differences in white and minority household income., "By one key measure, household income, metro Milwaukee is worse off than it was in 1980," 30 Oct. 2020 But to the point that Samples made, the belief is that the football program is taking a proactive approach to mend some of the fences that have separated SMU from the communities that surround Highland Park. Dallas News, "SMU coach Sonny Dykes explains viral video showcasing South Dallas, says team’s job is to serve the community," 19 Oct. 2020 Northam workers and the communities that surround the company’s mines own 25.5%. Antony Sguazzin,, "Northam Weighs Buyout of Black Investors’ $1.8 Billion Stake," 14 Oct. 2020 Many called on Marquette to do more to serve the communities of color that surround it, noting that only about 4% of its students are Black. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marquette students protest Kenosha shooting, call on university to add more Black students, faculty and staff," 27 Aug. 2020 Border towns are communities that surround the Navajo Nation, such as Page and Winslow in Arizona and Gallup in New Mexico. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Hopi Tribe releases ZIP code data, but COVID-19 data for Arizona's 22 communities is confusing," 4 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And while surround-sound appeals to the ref are nothing new on their own, the lack of 40,000 fans pleading their case has amplified them like never before. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "English Soccer’s Sound of Silence: Someone Falling Over," 25 Dec. 2020 Thankfully, the speakers sound great as well and boast a DTS:X Ultra virtual surround mode that impressively simulates a real surround sound system. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Computer Speakers to Elevate Your Tunes, Gaming, and Movies," 19 Oct. 2020 Drawing inspiration from the LC coupe and convertible, the LS adopts revised LED headlamps and a darker surround, while taillights swap chrome elements for glossy black. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "2021 Lexus LS500's Edgy Styling Belies Its Soft Side," 12 Dec. 2020 Murchison created a bold, backlighted clock and sculptural surround looking out over the Jones Falls Valley, Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue. Jacques Kelly,, "We grew to love Pennsylvania Station. Can an updated version continue that love affair?," 24 Oct. 2020 Or stay cuddled up inside and watch movies on the eight-foot-wide projection screen with a surround-sound system. oregonlive, "Architectural styles for design-savvy travelers: Log cabin to lighthouse rentals," 13 Nov. 2020 The little speaker in the controller will create a surround-sound effect that will respond to the environments that Astro is in. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X: How to decide which one is right for you," 12 Nov. 2020 National Refinishing charges $425 for a tub alone or $995 for a tub and shower surround. Washington Post, "Getting rid of the stains in a fiberglass bathtub," 2 Nov. 2020 Some of the surround events that usually accompany the show will be done virtually this year. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Old Globe, KPBS to present radio version of ‘Grinch’ musical this year," 29 Oct. 2020

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


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


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for surround


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

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Time Traveler for surround

Time Traveler

The first known use of surround was circa 1616

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Statistics for surround

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surround.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for surround


How to pronounce surround (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of surround

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to be on every side of (someone or something)
: to move close to (someone or something) on all sides often in order to stop a person from escaping
: to be closely related or connected to (something)



English Language Learners Definition of surround (Entry 2 of 2)

: a border or an area that is around the outside edge of something


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

Kids Definition of surround

1 : to enclose on all sides : encircle A fence surrounds the property.
2 : to be closely related or connected to … my actions will help to dispel this terrible myth of evil that seems to surround rats everywhere.— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux

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