[ noun sur-taks; verb sur-taks, sur-taks ]
/ noun ˈsɜrˌtæks; verb ˈsɜrˌtæks, sɜrˈtæks /


an additional or extra tax on something already taxed.
one of a graded series of additional taxes levied on incomes exceeding a certain amount.

verb (used with object)

to put an additional or extra tax on; charge with a surtax.

Origin of surtax

1880–85; sur-1 + tax; cf. supertax, French surtaxe Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for surtax

British Dictionary definitions for surtax


/ (ˈsɜːˌtæks) /


a tax, usually highly progressive, levied on the amount by which a person's income exceeds a specific level
an additional tax on something that has already been taxed


(tr) to assess for liability to surtax; charge with an extra tax
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 surtax



"extra tax," 1881, from French surtaxe, from Old French sur- "over" (see sur-) + taxe "tax" (see tax (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for surtax


A tax added to an existing tax. To help finance the Vietnam War, for example, Congress imposed a surtax on the federal income tax.

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.