surface Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “surface” in the English Dictionary

"surface" in British English

See all translations


uk   /ˈsɜː.fɪs/  us   /ˈsɝː-/

surface noun (TOP)

B2 [C] the ​outer or ​toppart or ​layer of something: Tropical ​rainforests used to ​cover ten ​percent of the earth's surface. The ​marble has a ​smooth, ​shiny surface. Neil Armstrong was the first ​person to set ​foot on the surface of the ​moon. [C] the ​toplayer of a ​field or ​track on which ​sports are ​played: The ​match will be ​played on an ​artificial/all-weather surface. [C] the ​flattoppart of a ​table, ​cupboard, etc.: a ​work surface Don't put anything ​wet on a ​polished surface, or it will ​leave a ​mark.
More examples

surface noun (APPEARANCE)

B2 [S] The surface of a ​situation or ​person is what they ​appear to be, or the ​features they have that are not ​hidden or ​difficult to ​see: On the surface, this ​seems like a ​difficultproblem, but in ​fact there's an ​easysolution to it. Beneath/Below/Under the surface of ​contemporaryWestIndianlifelurkmemories of ​slavery. Suddenly, all her ​anger came/​rose to the surface (= ​becameobvious).


uk   /ˈsɜː.fɪs/  us   /ˈsɝː-/

surface verb (TOP)

[I] to ​rise to the surface of ​water: The ​submarine surfaced a few ​miles off the ​coast. [T] to ​cover a ​road or other ​area with a hard surface

surface verb (KNOWN)

[I] If a ​feeling or ​information surfaces, it ​becomesknown: Doubts are ​beginning to surface about whether the ​rightdecision has been made. A ​rumour has surfaced that the ​company is about to go out of ​business.

surface verb (OUT OF BED)

[I] informal to get out of ​bed: He never surfaces until at least 11.00 a.m. on a ​Sunday.


uk   /ˈsɜː.fɪs/  us   /ˈsɝː-/

surface adjective (TOP)

working or ​operating on the ​top of the ​land or ​sea, ​rather than under the ​land or ​sea, or by ​air

surface adjective (APPEARANCE)

[before noun] appearing in a ​particular way but not always ​showing the ​truth: his surface ​appearance of ​calmconfidence
(Definition of surface from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"surface" in American English

See all translations

surfacenoun [C]

 us   /ˈsɜr·fəs/
the ​outer or ​toppart 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 ​yoursleepingbags. There was very little ​wind, and the surface of the ​water was ​calm. mathematics A surface is also a ​flatshape or ​area. The surface can also be what is ​obvious about a ​person or ​situationrather than ​truer or more ​importantfacts that are ​hidden or hard to ​see: But the ​fear that ​lurks just below the surface ​emergesquickly in ​talks with ​villagers. That may ​seemabsurd on the surface, but in a few ​years it will ​seem like ​wisdom.

surfaceverb [I]

 us   /ˈsɜr·fəs/
to ​appear at the surface of something: The ​ducks would ​dive to the ​bottom of the ​lake and surface a ​minute or two ​lateryards away. If a ​feeling or ​information surfaces, it ​becomesknown: This ​story first surfaced about a ​week ago.

surfaceadjective [not gradable]

 us   /ˈsɜr·fəs/
using the surface of the ​land or ​sea: When you ​land in the ​airport, ​look for ​signsdirecting 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?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“surface” in American English

Word of the Day

be nothing short of

used to emphasize a situation, quality, or type of behaviour

Word of the Day

Coffee culture
Coffee culture
by Colin McIntosh,
November 24, 2015
In a study published recently and widely reported in the media, researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health found that people who drink a moderate amount of coffee per day are less likely to die from a range of diseases. Good news for coffee drinkers, who make up an ever-increasing proportion

Read More 

climatarian adjective
climatarian adjective
November 23, 2015
choosing to eat a diet that has minimal impact on the climate, i.e. one that excludes food transported a long way or meat whose production gives rise to CO2 emissions Climate change is not normally on people’s minds when they choose what to have for lunch, but a new diet is calling for

Read More