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surface

[sur-fis] /ˈsɜr fɪs/
noun
1.
the outer face, outside, or exterior boundary of a thing; outermost or uppermost layer or area.
2.
any face of a body or thing:
the six surfaces of a cube.
3.
extent or area of outer face; superficial area.
4.
the outward appearance, especially as distinguished from the inner nature:
to look below the surface of a matter.
5.
Geometry. any figure having only two dimensions; part or all of the boundary of a solid.
6.
land or sea transportation, rather than air, underground, or undersea transportation.
7.
Aeronautics. an airfoil.
adjective
8.
of, on, or pertaining to the surface; external.
9.
apparent rather than real; superficial:
to be guilty of surface judgments.
10.
of, pertaining to, or via land or sea:
surface mail.
11.
Linguistics. belonging to a late stage in the transformational derivation of a sentence; belonging to the surface structure.
verb (used with object), surfaced, surfacing.
12.
to finish the surface of; give a particular kind of surface to; make even or smooth.
13.
to bring to the surface; cause to appear openly:
Depth charges surfaced the sub. So far we've surfaced no applicants.
verb (used without object), surfaced, surfacing.
14.
to rise to the surface:
The submarine surfaced after four days.
15.
to work on or at the surface.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; < French, equivalent to sur- sur-1 + face face, apparently modeled on Latin superficies superficies
Related forms
surfaceless, adjective
surfacer, noun
nonsurface, noun, adjective
unsurfaced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for surface
  • Many such apologies surface in online responses to articles on part-time and non-tenure-track faculty members.
  • The inferior surface is concave, and forms on either side of the middle line the roof of the lateral ventricle.
  • As she gazed at the brown skillet marks on the surface of the bread, a familiar visage snapped into focus.
  • We all but eliminated lawn surface in favor of trees and perennials and the climate did the watering.
  • The moon is our close cosmic neighbor, and humans have been exploring its surface ever since they first developed telescopes.
  • However, some of the steam will collect near the surface of the meringue.
  • There was no room left for escaping oil in the dome, which also became buoyant and rose to the surface.
  • Oil from the spill seeped between the rocks and still lies undisturbed in the sediments several inches below the surface.
  • surface uses under-the-table projection to produce the tabletop image.
  • Scientists theorize that a layer beneath the surface in these areas was once soaked with water long enough to form the spherules.
British Dictionary definitions for surface

surface

/ˈsɜːfɪs/
noun
1.
  1. the exterior face of an object or one such face
  2. (as modifier) surface gloss
2.
  1. the area or size of such a face
  2. (as modifier) surface measurements
3.
material resembling such a face, with length and width but without depth
4.
  1. the superficial appearance as opposed to the real nature
  2. (as modifier) a surface resemblance
5.
(geometry)
  1. the complete boundary of a solid figure
  2. a continuous two-dimensional configuration
6.
  1. the uppermost level of the land or sea
  2. (as modifier) surface transportation
7.
come to the surface, to emerge; become apparent
8.
on the surface, to all appearances
verb
9.
to rise or cause to rise to or as if to the surface (of water, etc)
10.
(transitive) to treat the surface of, as by polishing, smoothing, etc
11.
(transitive) to furnish with a surface
12.
(intransitive) (mining)
  1. to work at or near the ground surface
  2. to wash surface ore deposits
13.
(intransitive) to become apparent; emerge
14.
(intransitive) (informal)
  1. to wake up
  2. to get up
Derived Forms
surfaceless, adjective
surfacer, noun
Word Origin
C17: from French, from sur on + faceface, probably on the model of Latin superficies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surface
n.

1610s, from French surface "outermost boundary of anything, outside part" (16c.), from Old French sur- "above" (see sur-) + face (see face (n.)). Patterned on Latin superficies "surface" (see superficial).

v.

"come to the surface," 1898, from surface (n.). Earlier it meant "bring to the surface" (1885), and "to give something a polished surface" (1778). Related: Surfaced; surfacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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surface in Medicine

surface sur·face (sûr'fəs)
n.
The outer or topmost part of a solid structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for surface

surface

verb

To get up or leave one's room or home: hasn't surfaced for days since the breakup (1963+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with surface
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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