- 1The outside part or uppermost layer of something (often used when describing its texture, form, or extent): the earth’s surface poor road surfacesMore example sentences
outside, exterior; top, side; finish, veneer
- A survey of 2,200 drivers showed that one in three suffered mood changes blaming the weather, tiredness or even poor road surfaces.
- City of York Council chiefs said the work had to be done because the road surface was in such poor condition.
- Tyres fail to grip when brakes are applied and contact with the road surface is poor.
- 1.1The level top of something: roll out the dough on a floured surfaceMore example sentences
- Assemble the table on a level surface, turn the top wheel upside down and place the seat wheel on top of it.
- To start the engine hold the saw firmly in a position on a level surface by putting the right foot in the handle and making sure the chain is clear.
- Make sure to position barbecues on firm, level surfaces before starting to cook and never carry or move a lit barbecue.
- 1.2 (also surface area) The area of such an outer part or uppermost layer: the surface area of a cubeMore example sentences
- Untouched wild places have now shrunk to one-sixth of the Earth's land surface.
- 1.3 [in singular] The upper limit of a body of liquid: fish floating on the surface of the waterMore example sentences
- It is universally understood that heaving a major portion of your body over the surface of the water is a tough thing to do.
- Why can we see beneath water whereas the ray of vision reflects off opaque bodies and the surface of water is opaque?
- She was veiled in a dark cloak, billowing around her slim body and skimming the surface of the water.
- 1.4 [in singular] What is apparent on a casual view or consideration of someone or something, especially as distinct from feelings or qualities that are not immediately obvious: Tom was a womanizer, but on the surface he remained respectable [as modifier]: we need to go beyond surface appearancesMore example sentences
- Both see the lasting truth beneath the surface of mere outward appearance.
- What distinguished many of the Young British Artists was their reluctance to probe beyond the surface of appearance.
- We peer deep beneath the surface of appearances, and far into the cosmic past.
- 2 Geometry A continuous set of points that has length and breadth but no thickness.More example sentences
- Among closed surfaces, spherical, flat, and hyperbolic geometry are mutually exclusive.
- In this case, the toroidal surface has become an off-axis segment of an ellipsoid.
- He also considered curves of double curvature on the sphere and the quadrature of parts of a spherical surface.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- 1Of, relating to, or occurring on the upper or outer part of something: surface workers at the copper minesMore example sentences
- The fish seem to love the surface layers at this budget-priced urban oasis with a couple of anglers getting a bite with chuck fishing casters on the drop.
- Ground-source heat pumps pull energy from solar heat stored in the surface layer of the ground.
- When the vegetation dies, the dead biomass eventually becomes peat in the surface layer where it is subjected to decomposition.
- 1.1Denoting ships that travel on the surface of the water as distinct from submarines: the surface fleetMore example sentences
- The primary mission of Neustrashimy Class frigates is to combat submarines and surface ships.
- Testing surface ships by submarines is just one of the facets of RIMPAC 04.
- It was the second participation by a surface ship of the Royal Navy.
- 1.2Carried by or denoting transportation by sea or overland as contrasted with by air: surface mailMore example sentences
- And Little England gears to upgrade surface transportation in readiness for the cricket World Cup.
- In the morning we will fly on to Yundum airport and take surface transportation into Banjul, the capital of The Gambia.
- We should just switch to IM-based communication, and treat email like fax or surface mail.
verbBack to top
- 1 [no object] Rise or come up to the surface of the water or the ground: he surfaced from his diveMore example sentences
come to the surface, come up, rise
- He smiled at his wife before diving into the cool water, surfacing and glancing at Emily expectantly.
- She did an almost perfect dive into the water as well and surfaced next to him.
- Adri surfaced and wiped the water off of her face.
- 1.1Come to people’s attention; become apparent: the quarrel first surfaced two years agoMore example sentences
- Had they both had a chance of success, the issue might have surfaced and received the real attention which the main parties tried to stifle.
- Two main issues have surfaced with the presence of IM on corporate networks.
- A last-minute story has surfaced, designed apparently to damage the Bush effort for the presidency.
- 1.2 • informal (Of a person) appear after having been asleep: it was almost noon before Anthony surfaced
- 2 [with object] (usually be surfaced) Provide (something, especially a road) with a particular upper or outer layer: a small path surfaced with terra-cotta tilesMore example sentences
- Concrete blocks to surface the roads can be constructed in a process similar to the roof tiles.
- Mrs Mountford said the final houses had been built on the estate last September and the developer had promised to surface the roads but no progress had been made.
- Local firm Chestnut Developments had wanted to build in the gardens and surface the unmade lane.
- [often in combination]: a smooth-surfaced cylinderMore example sentences
- ‘We desperately need a surfaced area that would accommodate a game of five-a-side or a netball court,’ she said.
- You drop down to a lane but you can avoid walking back along the lane by following the surfaced footpath running parallel to it alongside the wall.
- Absolute beginners can get started on smooth- surfaced lochs.