Share this entry

Share this page

surf

Line breaks: surf
Pronunciation: /səːf
 
/

Definition of surf in English:

noun

1 [mass noun] The mass or line of foam formed by waves breaking on a seashore or reef: the roar of the surf
More example sentences
  • Occasionally, we could hear surf breaking on the reef that surrounded us.
  • With a roar of surf, the wave struck the beach and raced inland toward them.
  • The game is played in the surf, in rough surf with decent booming waves.
2 [in singular] A spell of surfing: he went for an early surf
More example sentences
  • I got up early this morning in the hope to have a surf before work - only to find that it was dead flat here at Llandudno.

verb

Back to top  
1 [no object] Stand or lie on a surfboard and ride on a wave towards the shore: he’s learning to surf
More example sentences
  • He had surfed towards the shore, entered the buffer zone on his board, caught another wave, with the consequence that after a couple of seconds he entered the flagged area and then commenced to walk to the shore.
  • The sand is black, it was very hot and sunny and if we had taken a surfboard we could have surfed on the waves.
  • The Floridian surfed well, but his Brazilian counterpartmanaged an 8.4 toward the end and swung the lead.
1.1 [with object] Ride (a wave) towards the shore on a surfboard: he has built a career out of surfing big waves
More example sentences
  • We don't know if we still have it in us to surf the big waves.
  • For Slater, his first WCT final of 2004 remained well within grasp until the last wave was surfed.
  • Thanks to its flat bottom, the Transformer spins like a top with the slightest of strokes and surfs standing waves as nimbly as a true kahuna.
1.2 informal Ride on the roof or outside of a fast-moving vehicle, typically a train, for excitement: he fell to his death while surfing on a 70 mph train
2 [with object] Move from site to site on (the Internet): the device allows you to surf the Net and send emails
More example sentences
  • The Multi.phone allows users to surf the Internet and send e-mails or text messages.
  • Simply surfing the Internet, reading email, downloading music or other files can infect your PC without you knowing it.
  • Basically, I surf the Internet, send a little e-mail, download some music and occasionally work with Microsoft Word.
2.1 another term for channel-surf.
Example sentences
  • He channel surfed aimlessly as I stared blankly at the TV.
  • He was channel surfing again like he always did when he had nothing better to do.
  • While I was channel surfing, the front door opened and Noah rushed in.

Origin

late 17th century: apparently from obsolete suff, of unknown origin, perhaps influenced by the spelling of surge.

Derivatives

surfer

1
noun
Example sentences
  • By mid-afternoon the wind had increased, causing numerous surfers to appear from nowhere and hit the waves.
  • The surfers find it very difficult and sometimes fatal to venture into rough seas.
  • Think Southern California, and you think surfers, seedy motels, and gas-guzzling cars.

surfy

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • When I looked left as I came out of the woods, I could see what appeared to be 30 miles of flat, sunny, golden, wet, surfy shore, a sand highway fringed by blue water and dotted here and there with surfcasters.
  • Covering surfy T-shirts, smart shirts, trendy sweats and cool knits, it's not as over the top as some brands and is selling well.
  • The boarders, though, are weaving a fine line between staying true to their surfy, freewheeling roots and the rewards of success.

Words that rhyme with surf

scurf, serf, soixante-neuf, turf

Definition of surf in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…