Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “surface”

surface

noun [C]  /ˈsɜr·fəs/ us  
the outer or top part or layer of something: the earth’s surface a rough/smooth surface Try to find a level surface on the ground where you can spread out your sleeping bags. There was very little wind, and the surface of the water was calm. mathematics A surface is also a flat shape or area. The surface can also be what is obvious about a person or situation rather than truer or more important facts that are hidden or hard to see: But the fear that lurks just below the surface emerges quickly in talks with villagers. That may seem absurd on the surface, but in a few years it will seem like wisdom.

surface

verb [I]  /ˈsɜr·fəs/ us  
to appear at the surface of something: The ducks would dive to the bottom of the lake and surface a minute or two later yards away. If a feeling or information surfaces, it becomes known: This story first surfaced about a week ago.

surface

adjective [not gradable]  /ˈsɜr·fəs/ us  
using the surface of the land or sea: When you land in the airport, look for signs directing you to surface transportation to get a bus to the city. If you send it overseas by surface mail, it will take forever.
(Definition of surface from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of surface?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Incomplete, but you might be interested in these topics from the Full and empty topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “surface” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

look on the bright side

to find good things in a bad situation

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More