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Webster 1913 Edition


Surface

Sur′faceˊ

,
Noun.
[F. See
Sur-
, and
Face
, and cf.
Superficial
.]
1.
The exterior part of anything that has length and breadth; one of the limits that bound a solid, esp. the upper face; superficies; the outside;
as, the
surface
of the earth; the
surface
of a diamond; the
surface
of the body
.
The bright
surface
of this ethereous mold.
Milton.
2.
Hence, outward or external appearance.
Vain and weak understandings, which penetrate no deeper than the
surface
.
V. Knox.
3.
(Geom.)
A magnitude that has length and breadth without thickness; superficies;
as, a plane
surface
; a spherical
surface
.
4.
(Fort.)
That part of the side which is terminated by the flank prolonged, and the angle of the nearest bastion.
Stocqueler.
Caustic surface
,
Heating surface
,
etc. See under
Caustic
,
Heating
, etc.
Surface condensation
,
Surface condenser
.
See under
Condensation
, and
Condenser
.
Surface gauge
(Mach.)
,
an instrument consisting of a standard having a flat base and carrying an adjustable pointer, for gauging the evenness of a surface or its height, or for marking a line parallel with a surface.
Surface grub
(Zool.)
,
the larva of the great yellow underwing moth (
Triphoena pronuba
). It is often destructive to the roots of grasses and other plants.
Surface plate
(Mach.)
,
a plate having an accurately dressed flat surface, used as a standard of flatness by which to test other surfaces.
Surface printing
,
printing from a surface in relief, as from type, in distinction from plate printing, in which the ink is contained in engraved lines.

Sur′face

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Surfaced
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Surfacing
.]
1.
To give a surface to; especially, to cause to have a smooth or plain surface; to make smooth or plain.
2.
To work over the surface or soil of, as ground, in hunting for gold.

Webster 1828 Edition


Surface

SUR'FACE

,
Noun.
The exterior part of any thing that has length and breadth; one of the limits that terminates a solid; the superficies; outside; as the surface of the earth; the surface of the sea; the surface of a diamond; the surface of the body; the surface of a cylinder; an even or an uneven surface; a smooth or rough surface; a spherical surface.

Definition 2021


surface

surface

See also: surfacé

English

Noun

A computer-generated representation of a surface

surface (plural surfaces)

  1. The overside or up-side of a flat object such as a table, or of a liquid.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess:
      A very neat old woman, still in her good outdoor coat and best beehive hat, was sitting at a polished mahogany table on whose surface there were several scored scratches so deep that a triangular piece of the veneer had come cleanly away, [].
  2. The outside hull of a tangible object.
    • 2013 May 11, The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
    • 2013 July 20, Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across.
  3. (figuratively) Outward or external appearance.
    On the surface, the spy looked like a typical businessman.
    • Vicesimus Knox (1752-1821)
      Vain and weak understandings, which penetrate no deeper than the surface.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter IX”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      “A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron; and she looked it, always trim and trig and smooth of surface like a converted yacht cleared for action. Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, [].
  4. (mathematics, geometry) The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space.
  5. (fortification) That part of the side which is terminated by the flank prolonged, and the angle of the nearest bastion.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Stocqueler to this entry?)

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Verb

surface (third-person singular simple present surfaces, present participle surfacing, simple past and past participle surfaced)

  1. (transitive) To provide something with a surface.
  2. (transitive) To apply a surface to something.
  3. (intransitive) To rise to the surface.
  4. (intransitive) To come out of hiding.
  5. (intransitive) For information or facts to become known.
  6. (intransitive) To work a mine near the surface.
  7. (intransitive) To appear or be found.

Translations


French

Etymology

sur- + face, based on Latin superficies.

Pronunciation

Noun

surface f (plural surfaces)

  1. surface

Derived terms