View synonyms for surf


[ surf ]


  1. the swell of the sea that breaks upon a shore or upon shoals.
  2. the mass or line of foamy water caused by the breaking of the sea upon a shore, especially a shallow or sloping shore.

verb (used without object)

  1. to ride a surfboard.
  2. to float on the crest of a wave toward shore.
  3. to swim, play, or bathe in the surf.
  4. to search haphazardly, as for information on a computer network or an interesting program on television.

verb (used with object)

  1. to ride a surfboard on:

    We surfed every big wave in sight.

  2. to search through (a computer network or TV channels) for information or entertainment.


/ sɜːf /


  1. waves breaking on the shore or on a reef
  2. foam caused by the breaking of waves


  1. intr to take part in surfing
    1. computing (on the internet) to move freely from website to website (esp in the phrase surf the net )
    2. to move freely between (TV channels or radio stations)
    1. to be carried on top of something

      that guy's surfing the audience

    2. ( in combination )



/ sûrf /

  1. The waves of the sea as they break upon a shore or a reef.

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsurfable, adjective
  • ˈsurfˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • surfa·ble adjective
  • surfer noun
  • surflike adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of surf1

First recorded in 1600–10; earlier suff; of uncertain origin
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Word History and Origins

Origin of surf1

C17: probably variant of sough 1
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Synonym Study

See wave.
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Example Sentences

Other than the moments after they hatch and crawl into the surf, sea turtles spend their entire lives in the ocean.

Nearly half are located on Oahu’s North Shore, known as the Seven Mile Miracle, famous for its abundance of prime surf breaks and stunning beaches.

Jim Haas, who owns a house down the shore near Chun’s Reef, received permission from the state in 2018 to put in a burrito after large surf destroyed his stone and mortar staircase and pulled the lanai off his property.

Residents are irritated that there is no beach, trail, or surf spot where they can escape the noisy machines.

While most travelers usually head to the western town of Rincón, known for its beaches and excellent surf, the north coast is also packed with adventure.

“I saw the moment when they looked down and saw this old couple having sex in the surf,” says Carlucci.

Others plan where to paddle into the surf off Black's Beach to catch a wave when the big breakers start rolling in.

Perhaps thanks to the surf and turf and the stellar Bordeaux and Sauvignon Blanc, there were no lost tempers.

Even "Surf Wax America," a seemingly innocuous homage to The Beach Boys' early hits, morphed into a meditation on drowning.

I should say that I surf in Barbados, just to see what happens in Season 5.

He is tied to a pole, carried out in the evening and dropped upon the beach, where it is just possible the surf may bear him away.

Under favourable conditions as many as four or five of these successive diminishing surf lines may be seen.

They cannot, like the noble lifeboats, dash right into the caldron of surf, and dare the sands and seas to do their worst!

Here the surf was like a boiling caldron, but there was not depth enough to admit of heavy seas.

Yes; it was of no use; no boat could live in the surf at the foot of the Stack cliffs, and the sailors had given it up in despair.


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