Definition of surge in English:

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Pronunciation: /sərj/


1A sudden powerful forward or upward movement, especially by a crowd or by a natural force such as the waves or tide: flooding caused by tidal surges
More example sentences
  • He tosses it beyond a breaking wave, and it bobs and sinks in the maelstrom of receding water colliding with the next surge of the tide.
  • If you go down Brigade Road, you can only inch forwards, pushed on by the surge of the crowd.
  • The traffic light changed, the traffic cop motioned for the crowd to cross, there was a surge forward, and suddenly the whole tone of the demonstration changed.
gush, rush, outpouring, stream, flow
swell, heaving, rolling, roll, swirling;
1.1A sudden large increase, typically a brief one that happens during an otherwise stable or quiescent period: the firm predicted a 20% surge in sales
More example sentences
  • Is that just a short-term boost, caused by a temporary surge in the oil price?
  • Sports marketing companies are predicting a surge in the sales of Jordan merchandise.
  • Most important, the turn for the better in the job market over the past year has supplied the household sector with a growth surge in income from wages and salaries.
increase, rise, growth, upswing, upsurge, groundswell, escalation, leap
1.2A major deployment of military forces to reinforce those already in a particular area.
Example sentences
  • Average turnaround time during the ground war surge rate flight operations was 23 minutes.
  • The U.S. Navy will conduct a major "surge" exercise off the China coast later this Summer.
  • During the surge, Task Force 385 managed the movement of 211,000 pieces of equipment through the port.
1.3A powerful rush of an emotion or feeling: Sophie felt a surge of anger
More example sentences
  • She felt a surge of powerful emotions - fear, anger, and even power.
  • The pace is slow and the mood sombre, even dreamy, cut across occasionally by great surges of emotion.
  • Television appeals to emotion, a surge of emotion, and it doesn't really make much difference what the emotion is about.
rush, uprush, storm, torrent, blaze, outburst, eruption
1.4A sudden marked increase in voltage or current in an electric circuit.
Example sentences
  • The result is a surge of extra electric current into power systems and every other sort of cable.
  • The hardware has been redesigned to prevent damage caused by short circuits or power surges.
  • Voltage surges and spikes occur for a number of reasons.


[no object]
1(Of a crowd or a natural force) move suddenly and powerfully forward or upward: the journalists surged forward
More example sentences
  • The crowds surged forward immediately and smashed the sign.
  • At about midday a truck pulled up and the crowd surged forward.
  • The crowd was surging forward, deafening him with screams and cheers, more high pitched than not, as the majority of the throng pushing him forward seemed to be girls.
gush, rush, stream, flow, burst, pour, cascade, spill, overflow, sweep, roll
swell, heave, rise, roll
1.1Increase suddenly and powerfully, typically during an otherwise stable or quiescent period: shares surged to a record high
More example sentences
  • He warned that unless supply continued to meet demand, prices would surge once again.
  • The prospect of power cuts had risen during the late 1990s as demand for power surged in line with economic growth.
  • The testing equipment-maker's shares surged as sales rose for the first time in six quarters.
increase, rise, grow, escalate, leap
1.2(Of an emotion or feeling) affect someone powerfully and suddenly: indignation surged up within her
More example sentences
  • I hated this feeling, this indescribable and uncomfortable emotion surging up within me.
  • I had so many emotions and feelings surging through me at the same time then - emptiness is just not the right description.
  • My voice is loud, but also rather high-pitched, and on the verge of cracking with all of the emotion surging within me.
1.3(Of an electric voltage or current) increase suddenly.
Example sentences
  • He screamed in pain as he hit the portal, a blue electric current surging around his body.
  • As the magnetic storm raged through the night, huge geomagnetically induced currents surged through the wires and cables.
  • The current surged through my leg, and I screamed again.
1.4 Nautical (Of a rope, chain, or windlass) slip back with a jerk.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'fountain, stream'): the noun (in early use) from Old French sourgeon; the verb partly from the Old French stem sourge-, based on Latin surgere 'to rise'. Early senses of the verb included 'rise and fall on the waves' and 'swell with great force'.

  • Early examples of surge mean a fountain or stream, with the verb meaning ‘rise and fall on the waves’, and ‘swell with great force’. The word comes from Latin surgere ‘to rise’, found also in resurrection (Middle English) ‘to rise again’, and insurrection (Late Middle English) ‘to rise up’.

Words that rhyme with surge

converge, dirge, diverge, emerge, merge, purge, scourge, serge, splurge, spurge, submerge, urge, verge

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: surge

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