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Definition of “surface” - English Dictionary

"surface" in American English

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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)

"surface" in British English

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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.

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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 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.


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