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From Middle English surmounten, from Old French surmonter (to rise above, surmount), from sur- (above) + monter (to mount).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /səˈmaʊnt/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /sɚˈmaʊnt/
  • Rhymes: -aʊnt


surmount (third-person singular simple present surmounts, present participle surmounting, simple past and past participle surmounted)

  1. (transitive) To get or be over without touching or resting on; to overcome.
    • 1748, David Hume, Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral., London: Oxford University Press, published 1973, § 10:
      this difficulty may perhaps be surmounted by care and art
  2. (transitive) To cap; to sit on top of.
    • 1951 April, “Notes and News: Locomotive Notes: London Midland Region”, in Railway Magazine, number 600, page 283:
      The boiler had a large dome over the firebox, inside the cab, surmounted by Ramsbottom safety valves.
    • 2007, Robert Chitham, The Classical Orders of Architecture, →ISBN:
      The ovolo surmounting the dentil course generally turns the corner by means of a carved acanthus leaf, the decorated cyma and cyma reversa being similarly treated at the corner.

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Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of surmounten