definition of surger by The Free Dictionary


a rolling swell of water: The huge surge of the sea frightened us.; a rush of current in a circuit: I need a surge protector for my computer.; any sudden or abrupt strong increase

Not to be confused with:

serge – a twilled woolen fabric: His serge suit was shiny from many years of wear.

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.

4. Nautical

a. The part of a windlass into which the cable surges.

b. A temporary release or slackening of a cable.

[Probably French sourdre, sourge- (from Old French) and French surgir, to rise (from Old French, to cast anchor, from Old Catalan), both from Latin surgere, to rise : sub-, from below; see sub- + regere, to lead straight; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]

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]

ˈsurgeless adj

ˈsurger n

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.

12. (esp. of electric current or voltage)

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
Gerund: surging

I surge
you surge
he/she/it surges
we surge
you surge
they surge
I surged
you surged
he/she/it surged
we surged
you surged
they surged
Present Continuous
I am surging
you are surging
he/she/it is surging
we are surging
you are surging
they are surging
Present Perfect
I have surged
you have surged
he/she/it has surged
we have surged
you have surged
they have surged
Past Continuous
I was surging
you were surging
he/she/it was surging
we were surging
you were surging
they were surging
Past Perfect
I had surged
you had surged
he/she/it had surged
we had surged
you had surged
they had surged
I will surge
you will surge
he/she/it will surge
we will surge
you will surge
they will surge
Future Perfect
I will have surged
you will have surged
he/she/it will have surged
we will have surged
you will have surged
they will have surged
Future Continuous
I will be surging
you will be surging
he/she/it will be surging
we will be surging
you will be surging
they will be surging
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been surging
you have been surging
he/she/it has been surging
we have been surging
you have been surging
they have been surging
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been surging
you will have been surging
he/she/it will have been surging
we will have been surging
you will have been surging
they will have been surging
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been surging
you had been surging
he/she/it had been surging
we had been surging
you had been surging
they had been surging
I would surge
you would surge
he/she/it would surge
we would surge
you would surge
they would surge
Past Conditional
I would have surged
you would have surged
he/she/it would have surged
we would have surged
you would have surged
they would have surged

Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011

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