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From French surface. Doublet of superficies.
surface (plural surfaces)
- The overside or up-side of a flat object such as a table, or of a liquid.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess:
- A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away, […].
- The outside hull of a tangible object.
- 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
- Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
- 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
- [The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across.
- (figurative) Outward or external appearance.
- On the surface, the spy looked like a typical businessman.
- 1782, Vicesimus Knox, “On knowing the world at an early age”, in Liberal education: […], 4th edition, London: Charles Dilly […], pages 393–394:
- Such characters as have nothing but external accompliſhments to recommend them, may indeed be greatly admired and approved by vain and weak underſtandings, which penetrate no deeper than the ſurface; but they are deſpiſed by all the truly ſenſible, and pitied by all the truly good.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
- “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, […].
- (mathematics, geometry) The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space.
- lateral surface
- surface area
- surface boundary layer
- surface car
- surface clutter
- surface-conduction electron-emitter display
- surface energy
- surface etymology
- surface finish
- surface layer
- surface mail
- surface normal
- surface of revolution
- surface plasmon
- surface quality
- surface runoff
- surface ship
- surface street
- surface-supplied diving
- surface tension
- surface-to-air missile
- surface-to-surface missile
- surface water
- surface web
- surface Web
up-side of a flat object
outward or external appearance
locus of an equation in a more-than-two-dimensional space
surface (third-person singular simple present surfaces, present participle surfacing, simple past and past participle surfaced)
- (transitive) To provide something with a surface.
- (transitive) To apply a surface to something.
- The crew surfaced the road with bitumen.
- (intransitive) To rise to the surface.
- There was great relief when the missing diver finally surfaced.
- (transitive) To bring to the surface.
- 2007, Patrick Valentine, The Sage of Aquarius, page 182:
- Sage went immediately to work; Damien surfaced the submarine and readied the group to meet outside the hatch.
- (intransitive, figurative) To come out of hiding.
- (intransitive, of information or facts) To become known or apparent; to appear or be found.
- 2013, George Walkden, “The status of hwæt in Old English”, in English Language and Linguistics, volume 17, number 3, →DOI:
- Subordinate clauses, by contrast, exhibit V1 or V2 only around 35% of the time, with the verb usually surfacing later.
- (transitive) To make (information or facts) known.
- (intransitive) To work a mine near the surface.
to rise to the surface
for information to become known
From sur- + face, calque of Latin superficies.
surface f (plural surfaces)
- “surface”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
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