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.
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus