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[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 surmountable
  • That's a barely surmountable proposition without technology.
  • The problems presented in the article are all surmountable.
  • What makes these obstacles surmountable is that the three main participants want the process to begin.
  • But the problem of financing steady flows of aid is surmountable.
  • Still, if the ticket price is right and there's money to be made, these problems may be surmountable.
  • He will learn, winning elections is a challenge, but surmountable.
  • Issues about violating people's privacy don't seem to be surmountable.
  • Clinical evidence suggests that it is also surmountable.
  • Studying friction at the atomic scale is a challenge, surmountable in only the past few years.
  • Decreasing animal stress and increasing animal welfare is a noble goal and a surmountable challenge.
British Dictionary definitions for surmountable


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 surmountable

late 15c., from Anglo-French sormuntable; see surmount + -able.



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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