- the swell of the sea that breaks upon a shore or upon shoals.
- the mass or line of foamy water caused by the breaking of the sea upon a shore, especially a shallow or sloping shore.
- to ride a surfboard.
- to float on the crest of a wave toward shore.
- to swim, play, or bathe in the surf.
- to search haphazardly, as for information on a computer network or an interesting program on television.
- to ride a surfboard on: We surfed every big wave in sight.
- to search through (a computer network or TV channels) for information or entertainment.
Origin of surf
SynonymsSee more synonyms for surf on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for surf
“I saw the moment when they looked down and saw this old couple having sex in the surf,” says Carlucci.Anatomy of a Drone Porn: ‘Drone Boning’ Makes Sex Look Like Art
November 8, 2014
Others plan where to paddle into the surf off Black's Beach to catch a wave when the big breakers start rolling in.Finding Food Heaven on the Cali Coast
Jane & Michael Stern
August 17, 2014
Perhaps thanks to the surf and turf and the stellar Bordeaux and Sauvignon Blanc, there were no lost tempers.Up To A Point: My Problem With People Who Agree With Me
P. J. O’Rourke
July 20, 2014
Even "Surf Wax America," a seemingly innocuous homage to The Beach Boys' early hits, morphed into a meditation on drowning.Remembering Weezer’s ‘The Blue Album,’ A Garage Rock Classic, on Its 20th Anniversary
May 10, 2014
I should say that I surf in Barbados, just to see what happens in Season 5.‘The Walking Dead’ Star Andrew Lincoln on the Terminus Cannibals Theory & Season Finale
March 31, 2014
On a third effort, the boat got through the surf and we succeeded in reaching the ship.
There was no wharf, and it was always necessary to get ashore through a surf.
And the sound—it was like the sound of the surf, but it was continuous.
Then he remembered that the sound of the surf would give him his directions.
From without, above the noise of the wind and rain and surf, came a shout.Thankful's Inheritance
Joseph C. Lincoln
- waves breaking on the shore or on a reef
- foam caused by the breaking of waves
- (intr) to take part in surfing
- computing(on the internet) to move freely from website to website (esp in the phrase surf the net)
- to move freely between (TV channels or radio stations)
- informalto be carried on top of somethingthat guy's surfing the audience
- (in combination)trainsurfing
Word Origin and History for surf
1680s, probably from earlier suffe (1590s), of uncertain origin. Originally used in reference to the coast of India, hence perhaps of Indic origin. Or perhaps a phonetic respelling of sough, which meant "a rushing sound."
- The waves of the sea as they break upon a shore or a reef.