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surface definition

Overview

This page has 15 definitions of surface in English and French. Surface is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use surface in a sentence are shown. Also define these 27 related words and terms: overside, flat, object, table, liquid, outside, hull, tangible, mathematics, geometry, locus, equation, degree of freedom, space, side, flank, angle, bastion, rise, bring, hiding, information, fact, work, mine, appear, and found.

See also: Surface and surfacé

English surface definition

Etymology

From French surface.

Pronunciation

Noun

A computer-generated representation of a surface

surface (plural surfaces)

  1. The overside or up-side of a flat object such as a table, or of a liquid.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away, [].
    • Liquid definition
      A substance that is flowing, and keeping no shape, such as water; a substance of which the molecules, while not tending to separate from one another like those of a gas, readily change their relative position, and which therefore retains no definite shape, except that determined by the containing receptacle; an inelastic fluid. (1 of 2 liquid definitions)
  2. The outside hull of a tangible object.
    • 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across.
  3. (figuratively) Outward or external appearance.
    On the surface, the spy looked like a typical businessman.
    • 1782, Vicesimus Knox, “On knowing the world at an early age”, in Liberal education:  [][2], 4th edition, London: Charles Dilly  [], pages 393–394:
      Such characters as have nothing but external accompliſhments to recommend them, may indeed be greatly admired and approved by vain and weak underſtandings, which penetrate no deeper than the ſurface; but they are deſpiſed by all the truly ſenſible, and pitied by all the truly good.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
  4. (mathematics, geometry) The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space.
  5. (fortification) That part of the side which is terminated by the flank prolonged, and the angle of the nearest bastion.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Stocqueler to this entry?)

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Verb

surface (third-person singular simple present surfaces, present participle surfacing, simple past and past participle surfaced)

  1. (transitive) To provide something with a surface.
  2. (transitive) To apply a surface to something.
  3. (intransitive) To rise to the surface.
    • Rise definition
      To move, or appear to move, physically upwards relative to the ground.
      1. To move upwards. (1 of 27 rise definitions)
  4. (transitive) To bring to the surface.
    • 2007, Patrick Valentine, The Sage of Aquarius (page 182)
      Sage went immediately to work; Damien surfaced the submarine and readied the group to meet outside the hatch.
  5. (intransitive) To come out of hiding.
  6. (intransitive) For information or facts to become known.
    • 2013, George Walkden, “The status of hwæt in Old English”, in English Language and Linguistics, volume 17, number 3, DOI:10.1017/S1360674313000129:
      Subordinate clauses, by contrast, exhibit V1 or V2 only around 35% of the time, with the verb usually surfacing later.
    • Information definition
      That which resolves uncertainty; anything that answers the question of "what a given entity is". (1 of 13 information definitions)
    • Fact definition
      Something actual as opposed to invented. (1 of 9 fact definitions)
  7. (transitive) To make information or facts known.
  8. (intransitive) To work a mine near the surface.
    • Mine definition
      My; belonging to me; that which belongs to me.
      1. Used predicatively. (1 of 4 mine definitions)
  9. (intransitive) To appear or be found.
    • Appear definition
      To come or be in sight; to be in view; to become visible. (1 of 6 appear definitions)
    • Found definition
      simple past tense and past participle of find

Translations


French surface definition

Etymology

sur- +‎ face, calque of Latin superficies.

Pronunciation

Noun

surface f (plural surfaces)

  1. surface

Derived terms

Further reading