General English

  • verb to come up to the surface

General Science

  • noun the outer covering or top layer of something
  • noun the land, water or sea of Earth’s surface


  • noun an outer covering of something, or the top part of something
  • noun the Earth’s surface or ground


  • noun the pitch between the two sets of stumps, considered in terms of the way it affects the behaviour of the ball
    Citation ‘Both found that their strokeplay benefited from the extra pace and bounce in the pitch that had been missing on the slower surfaces of the previous Tests’ (Mike Selvey, Guardian 9 April 1994)


  • noun the outside of an object
  • noun the top part of the earth (i.e. the land or sea)

Real Estate

  • noun a solid flat area, e.g. the area on top of kitchen cabinets
  • noun a relatively thin outer layer or coating applied to something, usually to give it a smooth finish


  • noun the type of ground that a sport is played on

Origin & History of “surface”

Surface was coined in French on the model of Latin superficiēs ‘surface’ (source of English superficial). It contains the same elements: sur- ‘above’ (a descendant of Latin super) and face ‘face’.