surface Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “surface” in the English Dictionary

"surface" in British English

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surfacenoun

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.

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  • 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).

surfaceverb

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

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  • 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.

surfaceadjective

uk   /ˈsɜː.fɪs/  us   /ˈsɝː-/
(Definition of surface from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"surface" in American English

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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)
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“surface” in American English

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