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[n., adj. sur-uh-geyt, -git, suhr-; v. sur-uh-geyt, suhr-] /n., adj. ˈsɜr əˌgeɪt, -gɪt, ˈsʌr-; v. ˈsɜr əˌgeɪt, ˈsʌr-/
a person appointed to act for another; deputy.
(in some states) a judicial officer having jurisdiction over the probate of wills, the administration of estates, etc.
the deputy of an ecclesiastical judge, especially of a bishop or a bishop's chancellor.
a substitute.
regarded or acting as a surrogate:
a surrogate father.
involving or indicating the use of a surrogate mother to conceive or carry an embryo:
surrogate parenting.
verb (used with object), surrogated, surrogating.
to put into the place of another as a successor, substitute, or deputy; substitute for another.
to subrogate.
Origin of surrogate
1525-35; < Latin surrogātus, assimilated variant of subrogātus; see subrogate
Related forms
surrogateship, noun
surrogation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for surrogate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No surrogate could penetrate it and no weapon would operate within it.

    The Weakling Everett B. Cole
  • The sow is the surrogate of the beautiful princess of the fairy tale.

    The Evolution of the Dragon G. Elliot Smith
  • She took her place as a crown upon his forehead, which afterwards was assumed by her surrogate, the fire-spitting uræus-serpent.

    The Evolution of the Dragon G. Elliot Smith
  • Some of his decisions as surrogate are regarded as precedents to this day.

    As I Remember Marian Gouverneur
  • In counties having more than 40,000 inhabitants, a separate officer may be chosen as surrogate.

    The Government Class Book Andrew W. Young
British Dictionary definitions for surrogate


noun (ˈsʌrəɡɪt)
a person or thing acting as a substitute
(mainly Brit) a deputy, such as a clergyman appointed to deputize for a bishop in granting marriage licences
(psychiatry) a person who is a substitute for someone else, esp in childhood when different persons, such as a brother or teacher, can act as substitutes for the parents
(in some US states) a judge with jurisdiction over the probate of wills, etc
(modifier) of, relating to, or acting as a surrogate: a surrogate pleasure
verb (transitive) (ˈsʌrəˌɡeɪt)
to put in another's position as a deputy, substitute, etc
to appoint as a successor to oneself
Derived Forms
surrogateship, noun
surrogation, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin surrogāre to substitute; see subrogate
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 surrogate

early 15c., from Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare "put in another's place, substitute," from sub "in the place of, under" + rogare "to ask, propose" (see rogation). Meaning "woman pregnant with the fertilized egg of another woman" is attested from 1978 (from 1972 of animals; surrogate mother in a psychological sense is from 1971).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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surrogate in Medicine

surrogate sur·ro·gate (sûr'ə-gĭt, -gāt', sŭr'-)

  1. One that takes the place of another; a substitute.

  2. A person or an animal that functions as a substitute for another, as in a social or family role.

  3. A figure of authority who takes the place of the father or mother in a person's unconscious or emotional life.

  4. A surrogate mother.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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