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surface - definition and synonyms


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noun surface pronunciation in American English /ˈsɜrfəs/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] the top layer or outside part of something
    a smooth/rough/hard surface
    Road surfaces are slick from the icy rain.
    Wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
    1. a.
      the top layer of water or land
      We saw fish swimming just under the surface of the water.
      A farmer was spreading fertilizer over the surface of the soil.
      the surface of Mars
  2. 2
    [countable] a flat area of a desk, table, etc. that you use for working on
    Papers and books covered the surface of the desk.
    All counter surfaces in the kitchen should be carefully cleaned.
    1. a.
      a flat area used for playing sports, or the material used for making this area
      Many tennis players dislike the grass surface at Wimbledon.
      a new playing surface that is expected to replace Astroturf
  3. 3
    [singular] the way that someone or something looks or seems while their true feeling or character remains hidden
    Underneath his cool surface was a growing sense of insecurity.
    beneath the surface: Hostility lies beneath the surface of calm in the region.
    on the surface: On the surface, they looked like a happily married couple.
    1. a.
      the aspect of someones inner feeling that they show in their behavior or appearance
      He could feel his frustration and rage rising to the surface.
  4. 4
    [countable] maths one of the sides of an object
    A cube has six surfaces.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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