Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “surface”

See all translations

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?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “surface” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

tweleb noun

December 22, 2014
informal a Twitter celebrity; (more specifically, someone who has more than 1,000 followers on Twitter) There were a few old and a few new faces, including a tweleb or two. Expect to see and hear more from these cool kids.

Read More