[ surj ]
See synonyms for: surgesurgedsurging on

  1. a strong, wavelike, forward movement, rush, or sweep: the onward surge of an angry mob.

  2. a strong, swelling, wavelike volume or body of something: a billowing surge of smoke.

  1. a sudden, strong increase or burst: a surge of energy; surges of emotion.

  2. Military. a significant increase in the number of troops deployed to an area.

  3. the rolling swell of the sea.

  4. the swelling and rolling sea: The surge crashed against the rocky coast.

  5. a swelling wave; billow.

  6. Meteorology.

    • a widespread change in atmospheric pressure that is in addition to cyclonic and normal diurnal changes.

  7. Electricity.

    • a sudden rush or burst of current or voltage.

    • a violent oscillatory disturbance.

  8. Nautical. a slackening or slipping back, as of a rope or cable.

  9. Machinery.

    • an uneven flow and strong momentum given to a fluid, as water in a tank, resulting in a rapid, temporary rise in pressure.

    • pulsating unevenness of motion in an engine or gas turbine.

verb (used without object),surged, surg·ing.
  1. (of a ship) to rise and fall, toss about, or move along on the waves: to surge at anchor.

  2. to rise, roll, move, or swell forward in or like waves: The sea surged against the shore. The crowd surged back and forth.

  1. to rise as if by a heaving or swelling force: Blood surged to his face.

  2. Electricity.

    • to increase suddenly, as current or voltage.

    • to oscillate violently.

  3. Nautical.

    • to slack off or loosen a rope or cable around a capstan or windlass.

    • to slip back, as a rope.

  4. Machinery. to move with pulsating unevenness, as something driven by an engine or gas turbine.

verb (used with object),surged, surg·ing.
  1. to cause to surge or roll in or as in waves.

  2. Nautical. to slacken (a rope).

Origin of surge

First recorded in 1480–90; perhaps from Latin surgere “to arise, stand up,” contracted from surrigere, from sur- sur-2 + -rigere, combining form of regere “to make straight, guide, rule”

Other words from surge

  • un·surg·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with surge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use surge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for surge


/ (sɜːdʒ) /

  1. a strong rush or sweep; sudden increase: a surge of anger

  2. the rolling swell of the sea, esp after the passage of a large wave

  1. a heavy rolling motion or sound: the surge of the trumpets

  2. an undulating rolling surface, as of hills

  3. a billowing cloud or volume

  4. nautical a temporary release or slackening of a rope or cable

  5. a large momentary increase in the voltage or current in an electric circuit

  6. an upward instability or unevenness in the power output of an engine

  7. astronomy a short-lived disturbance, occurring during the eruption of a solar flare

  1. (intr) (of waves, the sea, etc) to rise or roll with a heavy swelling motion

  2. (intr) to move like a heavy sea

  1. nautical to slacken or temporarily release (a rope or cable) from a capstan or (of a rope, etc) to be slackened or released and slip back

  2. (intr) (of an electric current or voltage) to undergo a large momentary increase

  3. (tr) rare to cause to move in or as if in a wave or waves

Origin of surge

C15: from Latin surgere to rise, from sub- up + regere to lead

Derived forms of surge

  • surgeless, adjective
  • surger, noun

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

Scientific definitions for surge


[ sûrj ]

  1. A coastal rise in water level caused by wind.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.