9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ser-mount] /sərˈmaʊnt/
verb (used with object)
to mount upon; get on the top of; mount upon and cross over:
to surmount a hill.
to get over or across (barriers, obstacles, etc.).
to prevail over:
to surmount tremendous difficulties.
to be on top of or above:
a statue surmounting a pillar.
to furnish with something placed on top or above:
to surmount a tower with a spire.
  1. to surpass in excellence.
  2. to exceed in amount.
Origin of surmount
1325-75; Middle English surmounten < Anglo-French surmounter, Middle French. See sur-1, mount1
Related forms
surmountable, adjective
surmountableness, noun
surmounter, noun
unsurmountable, adjective
unsurmounted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for surmount
  • Challenge students to identify and surmount obstacles.
  • Shred the entire mountain and surmount any landscape that stands in your way.
  • He believes that with time, industry can surmount the technical issues, but it is not a cheap proposition.
  • We brainstormed ways to surmount seemingly impossible challenges.
  • Excellent care is available, but patients must first surmount a daunting array of obstacles.
  • Had he agreed to surmount that hurdle they would have certainly set another before him.
  • Successful politicians surmount party allegiances, rather than entrench them.
  • Shred the entire mountain and surmount any terrain that stands in your way.
  • Finally, the entrepreneurs must surmount evolving governmental regulatory hurdles.
  • But it's not as if you can't surmount this obstacle.
British Dictionary definitions for surmount


verb (transitive)
to prevail over; overcome: to surmount tremendous difficulties
to ascend and cross to the opposite side of
to lie on top of or rise above
to put something on top of or above
(obsolete) to surpass or exceed
Derived Forms
surmountable, adjective
surmountableness, noun
surmounter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French surmonter, from sur-1 + monter to mount1
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 surmount

late 14c., "to rise above, go beyond," from Old French surmounter "rise above," from sur- "beyond" (see sur-) + monter "to go up" (see mount (v.)). Meaning "to prevail over, overcome" is recorded from late 14c. Related: Surmounted; surmounting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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