Date: 1600-1700
Language: French
Origin: sur- ( SURCHARGE) + face 'face'


1 noun
sur‧face1 S2 W1 [countable]


the top layer of an area of water or land
Dead leaves floated on the surface of the water.
Nearly 10 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by ice.
Gas bubbles in any liquid tend to rise to the surface.
beneath/under/below the surface
The tunnel was some 300 feet below the surface.

outside/top layer

the outside or top layer of something
surface of
the surface of the vase
The road surfaces tend to be worse in the towns than in the country.
a frying pan with a non-stick surface
on something's surface
mold growing on the cheese's surface

person/situation etc

the surface

the qualities, emotions etc of someone or something that are easy to notice, but which are not the only or not the real qualities, emotions etc
on the surface
On the surface, it seems a simple story.
Half an hour later Enid had calmed down, at least on the surface.
beneath the surface
I sensed a lot of tension and jealousy beneath the surface.
Prejudice is never far beneath the surface (=often appears) in the region.
rise/be brought/come to the surface
Violence has risen to the surface in the inner-city.

for working on

a flat area on the top of a cupboard, table, desk etc, that you use for cooking or working on
work/kitchen surface
Keep kitchen surfaces clean and tidy.
Work on a clean, flat surface.

side of an object

one of the sides of an object:
How many surfaces does a cube have?

➔ scratch the surface

at scratch1 (8)

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