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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun surface:


Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb surface:


The word surface is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun surface

What does surface mean as a name of something?

Surface is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: surfaces

  1. the outer boundary of an artifact or a material layer constituting or resembling such a boundary
    • examples: there is a special cleaner for these surfaces | the cloth had a pattern of red dots on a white surface
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic words: artefact / artifact = a man-made object taken as a whole
    • more specific terms:
      • bed = the flat surface of a printing press on which the type form is laid in the last stage of producing a newspaper or magazine or book etc.
      • gameboard / board = a flat portable surface (usually rectangular) designed for board games
      • face = the striking or working surface of an implement
      • ground = the surface (as a wall or canvas) prepared to take the paint for a painting
      • horizontal surface / level = a flat surface at right angles to a plumb line
      • Klein bottle = a closed surface with only one side
      • meniscus = the curved upper surface of a nonturbulent liquid in a vertical tube
      • miter / mitre = the surface of a beveled end of a piece where a miter joint is made
      • Mobius strip = a continuous closed surface with only one side
      • plasterwork / plaster = a surface of hardened plaster
      • projection screen / silver screen / screen = a white or silvered surface where pictures can be projected for viewing
      • side = an extended outer surface of an object
      • skin = an outer surface
      • spandrel / spandril = an approximately triangular surface area between two adjacent arches and the horizontal plane above them
      • superficies = outer surface of an area or a body
      • tread = the grooved surface of a pneumatic tire
      • vertical surface = a surface that is vertical
      • work surface = a horizontal surface for supporting objects used in working or playing games
  2. the extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object
    • examples: they skimmed over the surface of the water | a brush small enough to clean every dental surface | the sun has no distinct surface
    • lexical domain: Locations - nouns denoting spatial position
    • more generic words: bound / boundary / bounds = the line or plane indicating the limit or extent of something
    • more specific terms:
  3. the outermost level of the land or sea
    • examples: earthquakes originate far below the surface | three quarters of the Earth's surface is covered by water
    • lexical domain: Natural Objects - nouns denoting natural objects (not man-made)
    • synonym of surface: Earth's surface
    • more generic word: layer = a relatively thin sheetlike expanse or region lying over or under another
    • more specific words:
      • floor = the bottom surface of any lake or other body of water
      • floor = the lower inside surface of any hollow structure
    • part of: geosphere / lithosphere = the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle
    • parts:
  4. a superficial aspect as opposed to the real nature of something
    • example: it was not what it appeared to be on the surface
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • more generic words: aspect / facet = a distinct feature or element in a problem
  5. information that has become public
  6. a device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonyms of surface: aerofoil / airfoil / control surface
    • more generic word: device = an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
    • more specific terms:
      • aileron = an airfoil that controls lateral motion
      • elevator = the airfoil on the tailplane of an aircraft that makes it ascend or descend
      • flaps / flap = a movable airfoil that is part of an aircraft wing
      • horizontal stabiliser / horizontal stabilizer / tailplane = the horizontal airfoil of an aircraft's tail assembly that is fixed and to which the elevator is hinged
      • rotary wing / rotor blade = the long airfoil that rotates to provide the lift that supports a helicopter in the air
      • rudder = a hinged vertical airfoil mounted at the tail of an aircraft and used to make horizontal course changes
      • spoiler = a hinged airfoil on the upper surface of an aircraft wing that is raised to reduce lift and increase drag
      • spoiler = an airfoil mounted on the rear of a car to reduce lift at high speeds
      • stabilizer = airfoil consisting of a device for stabilizing an aircraft
      • vertical tail = the vertical airfoil in the tail assembly of an aircraft
      • wing = one of the horizontal airfoils on either side of the fuselage of an airplane
    • parts:

Alternative definition of the noun surface


  1. The up-side of a flat object such as a table.
  2. The outside hull of a tangible object.
  3. [mathematics] [geometry] The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space.

Specialised definition of the noun surface

Glossary of sports

the type of ground that a sport is played on (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

Definition of the adjective surface

What does surface mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: more surface / surfacer |

  1. on the surface

Definition of the verb surface

What does surface mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: surfaced | surfacing | surfaces

  1. come to the surface
  2. put a coat on; cover the surface of; furnish with a surface
  3. appear or become visible; make a showing
    • example: I hope the list key is going to surface again
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of surface: come on / come out / show up / turn up
    • more generic word: appear = come into sight or view

Alternative definition of the verb surface


  1. [transitive] To provide something with a surface.
  2. [transitive] To apply a surface to something.
  3. [intransitive] To rise to the surface.
  4. [intransitive] To come out of hiding.
  5. [intransitive] For information or facts to become known.
  6. [intransitive] To work a mine near the surface.


  1. SURFACE is a musical group.
    • members:
    • genre: J-pop
    • albums: "Kimi no koe de Kimi no subete de...", "Fate", "Resurface", "Re:START", "ココロのつぼみ", "素直な虹/情熱マイソウル", "夢の続きへ", "Last Attraction", "WARM", "Phase to Fate", "Invitation No.6", "ROOT", "Phase", "さぁ", "なにしてんの", "歌", "NEWS", "アイムファインセンキューアンジュー?", "その先にあるもの", "FLY HIGH", "ゴーイングmy上へ", "それじゃあバイバイ", "As ever", "フレーム", ".5(HALF) / about love", "ジレンマ", "ヌイテル?", "SURFACE", "ボクハミタサレル", "なあなあ"
  2. Surface was an American music group, active from 1983 to 1994, and best known for its #1 pop and R&B hit "The First Time".
    • members:
    • genres: Pop music, Quiet Storm, Contemporary R&B, Rhythm and blues, Post-disco
    • albums: "2nd Wave", "3 Deep", "The Best of Surface: A Nice Time 4 Lovin'", "Perfect 10", "Surface", "The First Time: The Best of Surface", "Love Zone"
    • nomination: - nominated to Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo - "Shower Me with Your Love"
  3. Surface is a musical group.
    • album: "The Beginning Of The End E.P"
  4. Surface is a musical group formed by Andreas Krämer and Markus Schneider.

There are other groups with in their name, like Surface Noise, Beyond Surface, On The Surface, All One Surface, Surface of Eceon, Under the Surface, Withering Surface, Surface of the Earth and Cats on a Smooth Surface.


  1. "Surface": Surface is the debut self-titled studio release from the popular late-eighties soul trio. Three years after releasing the heavenly midtempo boogie track "Falling in Love" on Salsoul, Surface released their first album self-produced and released in 1986 on Columbia Records. The album peacked number 11 at Billboard "R&B albums" chart and number 55 at Billboard Top 200 albums chart. At the same time hit single "Happy" peaked number 2 at Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. The other song, "Lately" peaked at number 8 on the Billboard singles chart.
  2. "Surface" is the seventh album by the Finnish experimental rock band Circle, led by bass guitarist Jussi Lehtisalo. It is a live recording, split with the Japanese band Marble Sheep, released by Metamorphos/Captain Trip in 1998.
    • released in (17 years ago)
  3. "Surface" is a musical album of Noah T.
    • released on
  4. "Surface" is a composition.
  5. "Surface" is a musical EP of Orphx.
    • released in (15 years ago)
  6. "Surface" is a musical album of Holger Mantey.
    • released in (13 years ago)
  7. "Surface" is a cataloged instance, composition.
  8. "Surface" is a musical album of Irreversible.
    • released on
  9. "Surface" is a musical single of Dataworx & Adam Kershen.
    • released on (7 years ago)
  10. "SURFACE" is a musical album of SURFACE.
    • released on (13 years ago)


Surface is an American science fiction television series that premiered on NBC on September 19, 2005. The program aired ten episodes before going on hiatus on November 28, 2005 due to NBC's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. It returned for five more episodes, beginning January 2, 2006. On May 15, 2006, NBC officially announced the series' cancellation.


  1. Surface: In mathematics, specifically, in topology, a surface is a two-dimensional, topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space R³ — for example, the surface of a ball. On the other hand, there are surfaces, such as the Klein bottle, that cannot be embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space without introducing singularities or self-intersections.
    • also known as Overflade
  2. Surface a.k.a. Microsoft Surface: The first-generation Surface is a tablet computer created and sold by Microsoft. The device is has a 10.6 in ClearType Display and runs Microsoft's Windows RT operating system. It is marketed towards the consumer end of the tablet market, but it is still geared towards productivity. Surface can play games, browse the web, edit Microsoft Office documents, access social networks and can be used for a variety of other purposes.
  3. Surface is an American design, architecture, and fashion magazine. Created in 1993 by Richard Klein, Surface was based in San Francisco until 2005, when the main offices moved to New York City. The magazine is published 10 times a year. In 1994, Vanity Fair named Surface as one of ten "upstart magazines to watch". Of these ten, only Surface and Visionaire still remained in production 10 years later.
  4. Surface is a computer, consumer product.

Phrases with Surface

Phrases starting with the word Surface:

  1. Surface Car
  2. surface area
  3. surface fire
  4. surface gage
  5. surface lift
  6. surface mail
  7. surface mine
  8. surface ship
  9. surface soil
  10. surface-mine
  11. surface gauge
  12. surface noise
  13. Surface water

Phrases ending with the word Surface:

  1. to surface
  2. hard surface
  3. road surface
  4. work surface
  5. Datum Surface
  6. Fermi Surface
  7. paved surface

View more phrases with the word Surface in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Surface

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewEncyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science (2006)

by P. Somasundaran

Surface Structure and Properties of Synthetic and Modified Calcium Hydroxyapatite / Hidekazu Tanaka .

Surface Speciation of Dolomite and Calcite in Aqueous Solutions / Jerzy A. Mielczarski, Jacques Schott, and O. S. ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design (1990)

Volume 35 - Petroleum Fractions Properties to Phosphoric Acid Plants: Alloy Selection by John J. McKetta Jr

Surface Tension There is a convenient correlation for predicting the dynamic surface tension ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Surface and Colloid Science, 2004 Update Supplement (2004)

by P. Somasundaran

n upon the scaled total surface charge Q = (ze/kT)Q/4n£,E0a ( note that Q is always positive). There is a critical value of Q*(QC* = ln( !/</>)) separating case 1 (low surface charge case) and case 2 (high surface charge case).

Google previewAnalytical Dictionary of Retailing (2000)

by Jeanne Dancette, Léon F. Wegnez, Christophe Réthoré

improvement store, builjlÆg-and-renovation warehouse center “m grande surface de bricolage (Fn), GSB (Fr.), maisonnerie (Fr.), centre de rénovation (Que ) ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Chemical Physics and Physical Chemistry: Applications (2001)

by Nicholas D. Spencer, John H. Moore

Introduction Numerous technological processes involve removal of material from a solid surface by etching, or addition of new material to a solid surface (in this case called the substrate) by deposition. Both classes of reactions have ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Technical Education-16. MINING ENGINEERING.

Surface. Movements. Due. to. Strip. Mining. Strip mining is that the coal steam is divided into regular strips in rectangular shape, then extracting every second strip (mining width, b) and left the middle strip (pillar width, a) unextracted. The pillars ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Scientific Units (2012)

Including dimensionless numbers and scales by H. G. Jerrard

Sverdrup 137 Surface flatness (or roughness) • In workshop practice there are two systems for expressing surface flatness[55]. These are the M (mean line) and the E (envelope) systems. Flatness in both systems is expressed as the distance ...

Google previewDictionary of Global Climate Change (2008)

The remainder reaches the ground surface where some is reflected and the rest is absorbed. The Earth's surface has a mean emission temperature of about 288° K as a result of solar heating. Thus terrestrial radiation is in the longer ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Surface

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Photos about Surface

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of cracked soil surfaceSmall photo of cracked soil surfaceSmall photo of cracked soil surfaceSmall photo of Natural Wooden SurfaceSmall photo of Natural Wooden SurfaceSmall photo of Water surfaceSmall photo of Empty white concrete surface. More...

Video language resources about Surface

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View more videos about The Surface, Surface area, Fermi surface, Faying surface, Surface energy, Surface mining, Surface runoff, control surface, Minimal surface, Riemann surface, Seifert surface, Surface Clutter, Surface tension, Surface texture, Surface integral, Microsoft Surface, and Equipotential Surface.

See also the pronunciation examples of Surface!

Quotes about Surface

I just love real characters, they're not pretentious, and every emotion is on the surface, they're regular working people. Their likes, their dislikes, their loves, their hates, their passions; they're all right there on the surface. (David O. Russell)
more quotes about surface...

Scrabble value of S1U1R1F4A1C3E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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