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  1. excess; an excessive amount: a surfeit of speechmaking.
  2. excess or overindulgence in eating or drinking.
  3. an uncomfortably full or crapulous feeling due to excessive eating or drinking.
  4. general disgust caused by excess or satiety.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to bring to a state of surfeit by excess of food or drink.
  2. to supply with anything to excess or satiety; satiate.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to eat or drink to excess.
  2. to suffer from the effects of overindulgence in eating or drinking.
  3. to indulge to excess in anything.
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Origin of surfeit

1250–1300; (noun) Middle English sorfete, surfait < Middle French surfait, surfet (noun use of past participle of surfaire to overdo), equivalent to sur- sur-1 + fait < Latin factus, past participle of facere to do (see fact); (v.) sorfeten, derivative of the noun
Related formsun·sur·feit·ed, adjectiveun·sur·feit·ing, adjective


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1. lack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for surfeit

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • We may have enough of justice in our character as rebels to give us a surfeit of it.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Her life had been unfortunate, and of horrors she had touched a surfeit.

  • Ay, and in the enjoyment of external beauty a sort of surfeit is engendered.

  • Adventure is all very well, but I have discovered that one can get a surfeit of it.

    The Pirate of Panama

    William MacLeod Raine

  • In the state it is all hunger at one end, and all surfeit at the other.

    Crotchet Castle

    Thomas Love Peacock

British Dictionary definitions for surfeit


  1. (usually foll by of) an excessive or immoderate amount
  2. overindulgence, esp in eating or drinking
  3. disgust, nausea, etc, caused by such overindulgence
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  1. (tr) to supply or feed excessively; satiate
  2. (intr) archaic to eat, drink, or be supplied to excess
  3. (intr) obsolete to feel uncomfortable as a consequence of overindulgence
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Derived Formssurfeiter, noun

Word Origin

C13: from French surfait, from surfaire to overdo, from sur- 1 + faire, from Latin facere to do
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

Word Origin and History for surfeit


early 14c., "excess quantity;" late 14c., "overindulgence," from Old French surfet "excess," noun use of past participle of surfaire "overdo," from sur- "over" (see sur-) + faire "do," from Latin facere "to make" (see factitious).

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late 14c., from surfeit (n.). Related: Surfeited; surfeiting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper