Definition of surrogate in English:


Line breaks: sur¦ro|gate
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌrəgət


  • 1A substitute, especially a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office: wives of MPs are looked on as surrogates for their husbands while the latter are at Westminster
    More example sentences
    • Not quite useful as measurements of scale, they could be understood to serve as surrogates for her own presence in the cinema of daily life.
    • In addition, a modified version of the portfolio traveled to sixteen venues between 1935 and 1937, with the photographs serving as surrogates for the objects themselves.
    • Like language, these photographs are surrogates for reality, full of meaning but incomplete in and of themselves.
  • 1.1(In the Christian Church) a bishop’s deputy who grants marriage licences.
  • 1.2(In the US) a judge in charge of probate, inheritance, and guardianship.


early 17th century: from Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare 'elect as a substitute', from super- 'over' + rogare 'ask'.

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