Meaning of “surplus” in the English Dictionary

"surplus" in British English

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surplusnoun [ C or U ], adjective

uk /ˈsɜː.pləs/ us /ˈsɝː.pləs/

C2 (an amount that is) more than is needed:

The world is now producing large food surpluses.
We are unlikely to produce any surplus this year.
The government has authorized the army to sell its surplus weapons.
UK The store is selling off stock that is surplus to requirements (= more than they need to have).

the amount of money you have left when you sell more than you buy, or spend less than you own:

a budget/trade surplus
Fortunately the company's bank account is currently in surplus.

More examples

  • A surplus of corn has helped depress the grain market.
  • The chemical industry has a large and growing trade surplus.
  • There is no surplus capacity in our transport system.
  • We produce enough vegetables for our community, and any surplus is sold to local shops.

(Definition of “surplus” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"surplus" in American English

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surplusnoun [ C ]

us /ˈsɜrˌplʌs, -pləs/

an amount that is more than is needed:

The world is now producing large food surpluses.
The government is forecasting a budget surplus this year (= all the money available to be spent will not be spent).

A surplus is also the amount of money you have left when you sell more than you buy:

a trade surplus
surplus
adjective [ not gradable ] us /ˈsɜr·plʌs, -pləs/

Farmers are feeding their surplus wheat to pigs.

(Definition of “surplus” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"surplus" in Business English

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surplusnoun [ C or U ]

uk /ˈsɜːpləs/ us

an amount that is more than is needed:

a surplus of sth The plant had a surplus of components.

ACCOUNTING, ECONOMICS the amount of money that you have left when you sell more than you buy, or spend less than you receive:

The savings will create a surplus of a little more than $24 million.
The overall gap continues to reflect a deficit in the trade of goods and a surplus in services.
Compare
in surplus

used to describe a situation when a business or country has spent less money than it has received:

This year the budget will be in surplus.

surplusadjective

uk /ˈsɜːpləs/ us

more than is needed or used:

As the economy slowed, companies that had invested surplus funds in the stock market found their returns dwindling.
The form of the payout of surplus cash to investors will be revealed in May.

(Definition of “surplus” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)