Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree
v. surged, surg·ing, surg·es
1. To rise and move in a billowing or swelling manner.
2. To roll or be tossed about on waves, as a boat.
3. To move like advancing waves: The fans surged forward to see the movie star.
4. To increase suddenly: As favorable reviews came out, interest in the software surged.
5. To improve one’s performance suddenly, especially in bettering one’s standing in a competition.
6. Nautical To slip around a windlass. Used of a rope.
1. To make a dramatic increase in: “Since the attacks in Paris, we’ve surged intelligence-sharing with our European allies” (Barack Obama).
2. Nautical To loosen or slacken (a cable) suddenly.
1. A powerful wave or swell of water.
a. A sudden rushing motion like that of a great wave: The surge of the herd forced some animals into the river.
b. The forward and backward motion of a ship subjected to wave action.
a. A sudden onrush or increase: a surge of joy; a surge in prices.
b. A period of intense effort that improves a competitor’s standing, as in a race.
c. A sudden, transient increase or oscillation in electric current or voltage.
d. Astronomy A brief increase in the intensity of solar activity such as X-ray emission, solar wind, solar flares, and prominences.
a. The part of a windlass into which the cable surges.
b. A temporary release or slackening of a cable.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. a strong rush or sweep; sudden increase: a surge of anger.
2. (Physical Geography) the rolling swell of the sea, esp after the passage of a large wave
3. a heavy rolling motion or sound: the surge of the trumpets.
4. an undulating rolling surface, as of hills
5. a billowing cloud or volume
6. (Nautical Terms) nautical a temporary release or slackening of a rope or cable
7. (Electronics) a large momentary increase in the voltage or current in an electric circuit
8. (Mechanical Engineering) an upward instability or unevenness in the power output of an engine
9. (Astronomy) astronomy a short-lived disturbance, occurring during the eruption of a solar flare
10. (Physical Geography) (intr) (of waves, the sea, etc) to rise or roll with a heavy swelling motion
11. (intr) to move like a heavy sea
12. (Nautical Terms) nautical to slacken or temporarily release (a rope or cable) from a capstan or (of a rope, etc) to be slackened or released and slip back
13. (Electronics) (intr) (of an electric current or voltage) to undergo a large momentary increase
14. (tr) rare to cause to move in or as if in a wave or waves
[C15: from Latin surgere to rise, from sub- up + regere to lead]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., v. surged, surg•ing. n.
1. a strong, wavelike forward movement, rush, or sweep: the surge of the crowd.
2. a sudden, strong rush or burst: a surge of energy.
3. a strong, swelling, wavelike volume or body of something.
4. the rolling swell of the sea.
5. a swelling wave; billow.
6. the swelling and rolling sea.
a. a sudden rush or burst of electric current or voltage.
b. a violent oscillatory disturbance.
8. a slackening or slipping back, as of a rope or cable.
9. (of a ship) to rise and fall, toss about, or move along on the waves.
10. to rise, roll, move, or swell forward in or like waves.
11. to rise as if by a heaving or swelling force: Blood surged to his face.
a. to increase suddenly.
b. to oscillate violently.
13. to slack off or loosen, as a rope.
14. to cause to surge or roll in or as if in waves.
15. to slacken (a rope).
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
a high, rolling swell of water.
Examples: surge of buzz of voices, 1891; of contempt, 1602; of low hills, 1863; of lava, 1869; of mishaps, 1583; of passion, 1520; of popular opinion, 1890; of popular resentment, 1834; of schismatics and heretics, 1550; of the sea, 1624; of tears, 1567; of water, 1538.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Past participle: surged
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011