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surplus

[sur-pluhs, -pluhs]
noun
  1. something that remains above what is used or needed.
  2. an amount, quantity, etc., greater than needed.
  3. agricultural produce or a quantity of food grown by a nation or area in excess of its needs, especially such a quantity of food purchased and stored by a governmental program of guaranteeing farmers a specific price for certain crops.
  4. Accounting.
    1. the excess of assets over liabilities accumulated throughout the existence of a business, excepting assets against which stock certificates have been issued; excess of net worth over capital-stock value.
    2. an amount of assets in excess of what is requisite to meet liabilities.
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adjective
  1. being a surplus; being in excess of what is required: surplus wheat.
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verb (used with object), sur·plussed or sur·plused, sur·plus·sing or sur·plus·ing.
  1. to treat as surplus; sell off; retire: The government surplussed some of its desert lands.
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Origin of surplus

1325–75; Middle English (noun) < Old French < Medieval Latin superplus, equivalent to super- super- + plus plus
Can be confusedsurplice surplus

Synonyms for surplus

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

Related Words for surpluses

unused, leftover, excess, balance, over, spare, supernumerary, residue, oversupply, surfeit, plethora, superabundance, overmuch, overage, superfluity, plus, surplusage, overflow, remainder, overrun

Examples from the Web for surpluses

Contemporary Examples of surpluses

Historical Examples of surpluses

  • That there is no object of general utility to which these surpluses can be applied.

  • The result is that surpluses of Army harness can not be disposed of to advantage.

  • The chief embarrassments have arisen, not from deficits, but from surpluses.

  • Labor in all these countries has spent its wages, and cannot buy any of the surpluses.

    The Iron Heel

    Jack London

  • Soon they have surpluses, and are seeking other countries on which to unload.

    The Iron Heel

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for surpluses

surplus

noun plural -pluses
  1. a quantity or amount in excess of what is required
  2. accounting
    1. an excess of total assets over total liabilities
    2. an excess of actual net assets over the nominal value of capital stock
    3. an excess of revenues over expenditures during a certain period of time
  3. economics
    1. an excess of government revenues over expenditures during a certain financial year
    2. an excess of receipts over payments on the balance of payments
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adjective
  1. being in excess; extra
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Word Origin for surplus

C14: from Old French, from Medieval Latin superplūs, from Latin super- + plūs more
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 surpluses

surplus

n.

late 14c., from Old French surplus, from Medieval Latin superplus "excess, surplus," from Latin super "over" super + plus "more" (see plus).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

surpluses in Culture

surplus

An unsold quantity of a good resulting from a lack of equilibrium in a market. For example, if a price is artificially high, sellers will bring more goods to the market than buyers will be willing to buy. (Compare shortage.)

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.