Meaning of SURFACE in English

I. ˈsərfə̇s, ˈsə̄f-, ˈsəif- noun

( -s )

Etymology: French, from sur- + face, from Old French — more at face

1. : the exterior or outside of an object or body : the outermost or uppermost boundary : one or more of the faces of a three-dimensional thing : a plane of a solid

the uneven surface of the earth

on the surface of the water

planks with a rough surface

the octagonal surfaces of a diamond

2. : a two-dimensional locus of points : the boundary or portion of the boundary of a three-dimensional region

a plane surface

a spherical surface

3. : something held to resemble the surface of an object or body:

a. : the part of something that is presented to a viewer with little or no examination : the outward appearance or characteristics of something : the external aspect

the surface of society

deep beneath the surface of the legal system — B.N.Cardozo

b. : someone or something without depth : a mere outside : one that is superficial in nature

4. : a complete airfoil used for sustentation or control or to increase stability

5. : the condition of a railroad track marked by vertical evenness or smoothness over short distances

the track is in surface


a. : printing surface

autographic works printed from surfaces actually produced by the artist — Barnett Freedman

printing done from relief surfaces

b. : stone 1b(11)

- on the surface

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to give a surface to: as

a. : to plane (as lumber) or make smooth

b. : to apply the surface layer to

the towers are surfaced with steel plates — American Guide Series: New York City

surface a highway

c. : to finish (as furniture or a marble slab) especially by polishing or varnishing

d. : to give a usually specified surface to

walls surfaced with cream stucco — American Guide Series: North Carolina

2. : to bring to the surface

two wells … surface more than 6,000 gallons of water a minute — Gaston Burridge

intransitive verb

1. : to work on or at the surface — used especially of a gold digger who works the ground superficially or a tracklayer who brings the top of the rail to a true grade line

2. : to come or rise to the surface (as of the water)

a submarine surfaced outside the harbor

a subway downtown, the line surfaces after three miles — A.H.Brown

the truth began to surface — Robert Jackson

III. adjective


a. : of, located on, or designed for use at the surface of something

designing surface instruments for the detection of oil deposits — W.J.Reilly

surface forces

surface vessels

surface runoff of water

b. : situated on the surface of the earth rather than in the air or underground

surface transportation

surface communications


(1) : of or relating to surface mail

surface postage

(2) : handled as surface mail

surface parcel post

2. : acting upon or against a surface

a surface grinder

3. : working at or near the surface

surface mining

: worked at or near the surface

surface mines


a. : appearing on the surface only : lacking depth

accurate surface realism — R.A.Cordell

improvements in surface conditions but not in fundamental weaknesses

b. : superficial

surface friendships

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.