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90s Slang You Should Know


[ser-mount] /sərˈmaʊnt/
verb (used with object)
to mount upon; get on the top of; mount upon and cross over:
to surmount a hill.
to get over or across (barriers, obstacles, etc.).
to prevail over:
to surmount tremendous difficulties.
to be on top of or above:
a statue surmounting a pillar.
to furnish with something placed on top or above:
to surmount a tower with a spire.
  1. to surpass in excellence.
  2. to exceed in amount.
Origin of surmount
1325-75; Middle English surmounten < Anglo-French surmounter, Middle French. See sur-1, mount1
Related forms
surmountable, adjective
surmountableness, noun
surmounter, noun
unsurmountable, adjective
unsurmounted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for surmounting
Historical Examples
  • The captain was distinguished from the rest only by his turban, which looked ridiculous enough, surmounting his half-clad form.

  • This head-gear, surmounting a small black face, is laughable in the extreme.

    In Eastern Seas J. J. Smith
  • Apparently he was accustomed to obstacles, and the surmounting of them was all in the day's work.

    Shifting Sands Sara Ware Bassett
  • surmounting the wall, I approached the spot where I had seen the reiver first.

    Border Ghost Stories Howard Pease
  • Hewitt calls attention to the knop, or button, surmounting the helmet, as a peculiarity.

    Spanish Arms and Armour Albert F. Calvert
  • This is a puzzler, but there is an apparent way of surmounting the difficulty.

  • The Falls were such that vigorous fish had no real trouble in surmounting them.

    The Haunters of the Silences Charles G. D. Roberts
  • They had been gathered here, and surmounting them was the coq gaulois.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • surmounting it is a needle-like spire which rises above the crenelated battlement of its tower in a most fantastic manner.

  • Getting up we set about surmounting what remained of the ascent.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
British Dictionary definitions for surmounting


verb (transitive)
to prevail over; overcome: to surmount tremendous difficulties
to ascend and cross to the opposite side of
to lie on top of or rise above
to put something on top of or above
(obsolete) to surpass or exceed
Derived Forms
surmountable, adjective
surmountableness, noun
surmounter, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French surmonter, from sur-1 + monter to mount1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for surmounting



late 14c., "to rise above, go beyond," from Old French surmounter "rise above," from sur- "beyond" (see sur-) + monter "to go up" (see mount (v.)). Meaning "to prevail over, overcome" is recorded from late 14c. Related: Surmounted; surmounting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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