English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English sourrounden (to submerge, overflow), from Middle French souronder, suronder, from Late Latin superundō, from super + undō (to rise in waves), from unda (wave).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /səˈɹaʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd
  • Hyphenation: sur‧round

Verb edit

surround (third-person singular simple present surrounds, present participle surrounding, simple past and past participle surrounded)

  1. (transitive) To encircle something or simultaneously extend in all directions.
    • 1944, Miles Burton, chapter 5, in The Three Corpse Trick:
      The hovel stood in the centre of what had once been a vegetable garden, but was now a patch of rank weeds. Surrounding this, almost like a zareba, was an irregular ring of gorse and brambles, an unclaimed vestige of the original common.
    • 1944 November and December, A Former Pupil, “Some Memories of Crewe Works—II”, in Railway Magazine, page 342:
      It took a long time for the place to warm up and to counteract the cold and enable their fingers to cope with the delicate task of moulding, the men would often surround themselves with blocks of iron heated in the furnace.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Miss Thyrza’s Chair”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC, page 41:
      Sepia Delft tiles surrounded the fireplace, their crudely drawn Biblical scenes in faded cyclamen blending with the pinkish pine, while above them, instead of a mantelshelf, there was an archway high enough to form a balcony with slender balusters and a tapestry-hung wall behind.
    • 2005, Plato, translated by Lesley Brown, Sophist, page 230c:
      and this way they get rid of those grand and stubborn opinions that surround them.
  2. (transitive) To enclose or confine something on all sides so as to prevent escape.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To pass around; to travel about; to circumnavigate.
    to surround the world
    • 1650, Thomas Fuller, “The Tribe of Benjamin”, in A Pisgah Sight of Palestine and the Confines thereof; with the History of the Old and New Testament Acted thereon. [], London: William Tegg, published 1869, →OCLC, book II, paragraph 16, page 225:
      Unfitting it was, that the body of that worthy patriarch (to whom all the land belonged by promise) should steal into that country in a clandestine way, and privately enter in at the postern door; rather let it solemnly surround the country, and be brought in at the broad gates. Thus the corpses of men of quality, though the chancel-door be nearer, are borne through the porch and middle alley to the place of their interment.

Synonyms edit

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Translations edit

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Noun edit

surround (plural surrounds)

  1. (Britain) Anything, such as a fence or border, that surrounds something.
    • 1972, Frederick Forsyth, The Odessa File, Viking, SBN 670-52042-x, chapter 15, page 283:
      He drifted through the room, avoiding the furniture by instinct, closed the door that led to the passage, and only then flicked on his flashlight.
      It swept around the room, picking out a desk, a telephone, a wall of bookshelves, and a deep armchair, and finally settled on a handsome fireplace with a large surround of red brick.

Derived terms edit

References edit