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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Blue Jays can surround Springer with plenty of young talent, including third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., shortstop Bo Bichette and right fielder Teoscar Hernandez. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "George Springer Reaches $150 Million Deal With Toronto," 20 Jan. 2021 Architectural styles like modern farmhouse and midcentury modern will surround a pocket park with a stand of mature trees, native plants and a cistern to irrigate the site. Dallas News, "Hoffmann Homes to build in East Dallas’ new green community," 17 Jan. 2021 Yet when the clock on 2020 runs out — even with people in lockdown or mourning those taken by the virus — glasses will clink, resolutions will be made and the instinctive optimism of a new year will surround us, if just for that one moment. Washington Post, "Six portraits from a year defined by loss," 30 Dec. 2020 Kale Wuthrich watched doctors surround his son in the emergency room, giving him fluids though IV tubes, running a battery of tests and trying to stabilize him. Lindsay Whitehurst,, "A child so sick they feared the worst, now they urge change," 23 Dec. 2020 Children surround the field and impatiently watch as a helicopter hovers roughly 30 feet above the outfield and drops candy to the ground. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Maryland minor league baseball team works to keep fans after losing affiliation with the majors," 17 Dec. 2020 Many positives surround this Portland Trail Blazers team. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers suffer lopsided preseason loss to Denver Nuggets: Live updates recap," 16 Dec. 2020 Similar bribery allegations surround the IOC’s award of the 2016 Olympic to Rio de Janeiro. Yuri Kageyama And Stephen Wade, The Christian Science Monitor, "Tokyo Games budget balloons. Who will pay for the extra costs?," 11 Dec. 2020 If a hornet manages to get in, masses of bees surround it. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Giant hornets on the attack? Try a little water buffalo poop," 9 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The final bathroom features a gray floating vanity with a white porcelain counter, a ceramic tile floor, and a shower/tub combination with a gray ceramic tile surround and a marble inlay. Globe Staff,, "Home of the Week: A condo where you can park your car — and your inner child," 22 Jan. 2021 The comforts of home on our tester include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated steering wheel, Bose stereo and surround-view monitor. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2021 Kia Sorento: Finally, an SUV That’s the Right Size for Families," 16 Dec. 2020 Mockups showed headrests with wings that fold down to put speakers around the occupants’ head, delivering better surround and the capability for occupants to simultaneously listen to different sources at varying volumes. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "New in-vehicle technology shows we're using cars 'as much for living as traveling'," 18 Jan. 2021 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about surround

Time Traveler for surround

Time Traveler

The first known use of surround was circa 1616

See more words from the same year

Statistics for surround

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Surround.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for surround



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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on surround

What made you want to look up surround? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!