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[suh-roun-ding] /səˈraʊn dɪŋ/
something that surrounds.
surroundings, environing things, circumstances, conditions, etc.; environment:
He was too sick to be aware of his surroundings.
the act of encircling or enclosing.
enclosing or encircling.
being the environment or adjacent area.
Origin of surrounding
1400-50; late Middle English: inundation; see surround, -ing1, -ing2
2. See environment.


[suh-round] /səˈraʊnd/
verb (used with object)
to enclose on all sides; encompass:
She was surrounded by reporters.
to form an enclosure round; encircle:
A stone wall surrounds the estate.
to enclose (a body of troops, a fort or town, etc.) so as to cut off communication or retreat.
something that surrounds, as the area, border, etc., around an object or central space:
a tile surround for the shower stall.
environment or setting:
The designer created a Persian surround for the new restaurant.
  1. a means of hunting in which wild animals are encircled and chased into a special spot that makes their escape impossible.
  2. the act of hunting by this means.
  3. the location encircled by hunters using this means.
1400-50; late Middle English surounden to inundate, submerge < Anglo-French surounder, Middle French s(o)ronder < Late Latin superundāre to overflow, equivalent to Latin super- super- + undāre to flood, derivative of unda wave (see undulate); current spelling by analysis as sur-1 + round1 (v.)
Related forms
presurround, verb (used with object)
unsurrounded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for surrounding
  • Louis, surrounding themselves with others aspiring to their chosen trade.
  • Never mind that on weekends the campus was as unpopulated as the surrounding countryside.
  • The wood fuel for the kiln consists of culled trees and deadfall from the surrounding forests.
  • But she also grew fascinated with the copyright complexities surrounding the daily work of historians.
  • But every so often, our mitochondria and their surrounding cells fight.
  • No wonder the prejudice surrounding them is so high.
  • Its chief strengthening bands are derived from the fascia lata and from the tendons surrounding the joint.
  • In the thoracic region it is small, not only in amount but relatively to the surrounding white substance.
  • The sclera and choroid are derived from the mesoderm surrounding the optic cup.
  • The entoderm which lines these pouches grows in the form of a number of solid buds into the surrounding mesoderm.
British Dictionary definitions for surrounding


verb (transitive)
to encircle or enclose or cause to be encircled or enclosed
to deploy forces on all sides of (a place or military formation), so preventing access or retreat
to exist around: I dislike the people who surround her
(mainly Brit) a border, esp the area of uncovered floor between the walls of a room and the carpet or around an opening or panel
(mainly US)
  1. a method of capturing wild beasts by encircling the area in which they are believed to be
  2. the area so encircled
Derived Forms
surrounding, adjective
Word Origin
C15 surrounden to overflow, from Old French suronder, from Late Latin superundāre, from Latin super- + undāre to abound, from unda a wave
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 surrounding



early 15c., "to flood, overflow," from Middle French soronder "to overflow, abound, surpass, dominate," from Late Latin superundare "overflow," from Latin super "over" (see super-) + undare "to flow in waves," from unda "wave" (see water (n.); and cf. abound). Sense of "to shut in on all sides" first recorded 1610s, influenced by figurative meaning in French of "dominate," and by sound association with round. Related: Surrounded; surrounding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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