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See more synonyms for surmount on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to mount upon; get on the top of; mount upon and cross over: to surmount a hill.
  2. to get over or across (barriers, obstacles, etc.).
  3. to prevail over: to surmount tremendous difficulties.
  4. to be on top of or above: a statue surmounting a pillar.
  5. to furnish with something placed on top or above: to surmount a tower with a spire.
  6. Obsolete.
    1. to surpass in excellence.
    2. to exceed in amount.
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Origin of surmount

1325–75; Middle English surmounten < Anglo-French surmounter, Middle French. See sur-1, mount1
Related formssur·mount·a·ble, adjectivesur·mount·a·ble·ness, nounsur·mount·er, nounun·sur·mount·a·ble, adjectiveun·sur·mount·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for surmounting

conquer, exceed, lick, surpass, subdue, crown, down, hurdle, outstrip, pass, best, better, top, overpower, leap, crest, negotiate, throw, clear, cap

Examples from the Web for surmounting

Historical Examples of surmounting

  • Surmounting its Early English tower is a spire of later date.

    England, Picturesque and Descriptive

    Joel Cook

  • Surmounting the central dome is a colossal statue of the Virgin.

  • Yet in her clear eye was a fortitude, surmounting adversity.

    Man of Uz, and Other Poems

    Lydia Howard Sigourney

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

    In Eastern Seas

    J. J. Smith

  • Surmounting the wall, I approached the spot where I had seen the reiver first.

British Dictionary definitions for surmounting


verb (tr)
  1. to prevail over; overcometo surmount tremendous difficulties
  2. to ascend and cross to the opposite side of
  3. to lie on top of or rise above
  4. to put something on top of or above
  5. obsolete to surpass or exceed
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Derived Formssurmountable, adjectivesurmountableness, nounsurmounter, noun

Word Origin for surmount

C14: from Old French surmonter, from sur- 1 + monter to mount 1
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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper