[noun, adjective sur-uh-geyt, -git, suhr-; verb sur-uh-geyt, suhr-]
  1. a person appointed to act for another; deputy.
  2. (in some states) a judicial officer having jurisdiction over the probate of wills, the administration of estates, etc.
  3. the deputy of an ecclesiastical judge, especially of a bishop or a bishop's chancellor.
  4. a substitute.
  5. a surrogate mother.
  6. Politics. someone who acts on behalf of a politician or political candidate by making public appearances, issuing statements, etc., when that person is engaged elsewhere or when that person’s image would be bolstered by certain affiliations: His camp won the “prestige of science” battle by signing on high-profile physicists, chemists, and biologists as campaign surrogates.
  1. regarded or acting as a surrogate: a surrogate father.
  2. involving or indicating the use of a surrogate mother to conceive or carry an embryo: surrogate parenting.
verb (used with object), sur·ro·gat·ed, sur·ro·gat·ing.
  1. to put into the place of another as a successor, substitute, or deputy; substitute for another.
  2. to subrogate.

Origin of surrogate

1525–35; < Latin surrogātus, assimilated variant of subrogātus; see subrogate
Related formssur·ro·gate·ship, nounsur·ro·ga·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for surrogation


noun (ˈsʌrəɡɪt)
  1. a person or thing acting as a substitute
  2. mainly British a deputy, such as a clergyman appointed to deputize for a bishop in granting marriage licences
  3. psychiatry a person who is a substitute for someone else, esp in childhood when different persons, such as a brother or teacher, can act as substitutes for the parents
  4. (in some US states) a judge with jurisdiction over the probate of wills, etc
  5. (modifier) of, relating to, or acting as a surrogatea surrogate pleasure
verb (ˈsʌrəˌɡeɪt) (tr)
  1. to put in another's position as a deputy, substitute, etc
  2. to appoint as a successor to oneself
Derived Formssurrogateship, nounsurrogation, noun

Word Origin for surrogate

C17: from Latin surrogāre to substitute; see subrogate
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 surrogation



early 15c., from Latin surrogatus, past participle of surrogare "put in another's place, substitute," from sub "in the place of, under" + rogare "to ask, propose" (see rogation). Meaning "woman pregnant with the fertilized egg of another woman" is attested from 1978 (from 1972 of animals; surrogate mother in a psychological sense is from 1971).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

surrogation in Medicine


[sûrə-gĭt, -gāt′]
  1. One that takes the place of another; a substitute.
  2. A person or an animal that functions as a substitute for another, as in a social or family role.
  3. A figure of authority who takes the place of the father or mother in a person's unconscious or emotional life.
  4. A surrogate mother.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.