Meaning of “surface” in the English Dictionary

"surface" in British English

See all translations

surfacenoun

uk /ˈsɜː.fɪs/ us /ˈsɝː-/

surface noun (TOP)

B2 [ C ] the outer or top part or layer of something:

Tropical rain forests 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 top layer of a field or track on which sports are played:

The match will be played on an artificial/all-weather surface.

[ C ] the flat top part 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

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

Thesaurus: synonyms and related words

surface verb (KNOWN)

[ I ] If a feeling or information surfaces, it becomes known:

Doubts are beginning to surface about whether the right decision 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

See all translations

surfacenoun [ C ]

us /ˈsɜr·fəs/

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.

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 later yards away.

If a feeling or information surfaces, it becomes known:

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 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)