The Meaning of Surge: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of surge? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word surge, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word surge mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, and Definitions, the word surge is a noun and verb that has multiple different definitions of surge. As a noun, the word surge can mean a sudden forceful flow, rush, or spate.  It can also refer to a temporary release, a sudden or abrupt strong increase, the maximum amplitude of a vehicles’ forward and backward oscillation, a sudden rush, a sudden large increase, a sudden electrical spike in volts or increase of voltage in an electric circuit or devices, and current or a spring or fountain. The word surge can also be used as a verb to mean to billow or heave, as well as to rise rapidly, increase suddenly, or move forward. It can also mean to see a person’s performance improve. Many different things can be considered surging or a surge, like an upsurge of emotion, sudden forceful flow, a surge of speculation, a surge of excitement, a surge of anger, the onward surge of an angry mob, a billowing surge of smoke, the surge of the tide leading to an uneven flow and temporary rise in water level, and more. The pronunciation of surge is sɜrdʒ.

In a sentence, someone might say “Sophie had a surge of followers on Facebook and Twitter after her video went viral.” This implies a large, fast increase in followers. 

In nautical terms, this can refer to a large swelling wave or the rolling swell of the sea as well as the tapered part of the whelps between the chocks of the capstan. The messenger is readily surged upon this tapered part of a windlass barrel or cable surges during the heavy swelling motion. It can also refer to the forward movement of the passage of a large wave or the large momentary increase in a wavelike volume. This influence of a natural force and the sudden increase can cause the ship to surge forwards or blackout. The atmospheric pressure along a rocky coast or other normal diurnal changes can cause this unevenness of motion and strong momentum. As a verb in nautical terms, this means to slacken up suddenly a portion of a rope where it renders round a pin, windlass, or capstan as in “surge the messenger.” If a ship rises and falls with the heave of the sea, it is said to surge on a reef. Surge was also a variation of a Norwegian citrus soft drink called Urge, produced  by the Coca-Cola Company to compete with Pepsi’s Mountain Dew.

Many different languages also contain words that mean surge. You may find that some of these words look and sound similar to each other. This is likely because they are of a similar origin. Usually, cognates are formed when two words have a common ancestor such as Latin or Greek. Cognates are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages. This list of translations of surge is provided by Word Sense.

  •  French: montée‎, poussée‎, vague‎, afflux‎
  •  Polish: skok napięcia‎ (masc.)
  •  Slovak: nával‎ (masc.), príval‎ (masc.)
  •  Afrikaans: stuwing‎
  •  Maori: tai reporepo‎ (storm surge)
  •  Japanese: サージ‎ (sāji)
  •  Portuguese: surto‎ (masc.)
  •  Macedonian: наплив‎
  •  Dutch: golf‎ (masc.) (f), stortzee‎ (masc.) (f)
  •  Irish: borradh‎ (masc.), borradh cumhachta‎ (masc.), borradh leictreachais‎ (masc.)
  •  Czech: příval‎ (masc.), nápor‎ (masc.), poryv‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: oleada‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Aufwallung‎ (fem.), Schwall‎ (masc.), Welle‎ (fem.), Woge‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: всплеск‎ (masc.), волна́‎ (fem.)
  •  Finnish: aalto‎

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word surge?

There are many different words that are synonyms for the word surge. Synonyms are words and phrases that have the same or a similar definition as another word or phrase. Synonyms are a useful English language tool because they can help you to avoid repeating the same word over and over again while simultaneously expanding your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word surge is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  flow
  •  escalate
  •  bulge
  •  flash
  •  wash
  •  burst
  •  overflow
  •  pour
  •  ripple
  •  storm
  •  expansion
  •  wave
  •  billow
  •  torrent
  •  large increase
  •  outbreak
  •  swell
  •  grow
  •  outpouring
  •  rise up
  •  groundswell
  •  roll
  •  blow up
  •  issue
  •  go up
  •  spew
  •  raise
  •  pump
  •  swirl
  •  shoot up
  •  throng
  •  spout
  •  erupt
  •  spurt
  •  flux
  •  surging
  •  drift
  •  cascade
  •  spiral
  •  soar
  •  expand
  •  course
  •  rise
  •  pulsate
  •  zoom
  •  undulate
  •  tide
  •  growth
  •  break
  •  upsurge
  •  upswing
  •  escalation
  •  sweep
  •  increased
  •  climb
  •  well forth
  •  spill
  •  gush
  •  enlarge
  •  uprush
  •  billowing
  •  breaker
  •  ooze
  •  squirt
  •  soaring
  •  rocket
  •  swarm
  •  explosion
  •  increasing
  •  well
  •  spate
  •  heave
  •  balloon
  •  jet
  •  outburst
  •  circulate
  •  jump
  •  stream
  •  uprise
  •  eddy
  •  lift
  •  zooming
  •  pile
  •  deluge
  •  rise and fall
  •  blaze
  •  soar up
  •  rising
  •  flood
  •  thrill
  •  seethe
  •  eruption
  •  sluice
  •  boost
  •  current
  •  increase
  •  flutter
  •  crowd
  •  rush
  •  leap

There are also a number of words that mean the opposite of the word surge. These opposite words are known as antonyms, which are words and phrases that have the opposite definitions as another word or phrase. Antonyms are also a useful tool to expand a person’s vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word surge is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  fall
  •  act reasonably
  •  waning
  •  wither
  •  conduct
  •  deport oneself
  •  act with decorum
  •  make less
  •  ebb
  •  depreciate
  •  reduce
  •  depression
  •  lower
  •  sink
  •  disappear
  •  capsize
  •  behave
  •  constriction
  •  become less
  •  comport oneself
  •  grow less
  •  declining
  •  contraction
  •  carry oneself
  •  weaken
  •  peter out
  •  restrain
  •  dip
  •  bear
  •  demean oneself
  •  drop
  •  be good
  •  cutback
  •  worsening
  •  abate
  •  be nice
  •  comport
  •  hindrance
  •  diminishing
  •  decay
  •  dry up
  •  acquit
  •  lessen
  •  descent
  •  act
  •  demean
  •  decline
  •  lessening
  •  wane
  •  acquit oneself
  •  shrivel
  •  crash
  •  dwindling
  •  fall off
  •  control
  •  descend
  •  become smaller
  •  run low
  •  conduct oneself
  •  condensation
  •  subsidence
  •  discount
  •  decrescence
  •  contract
  •  striction
  •  act one’s age
  •  conduct oneself properly
  •  slump
  •  narrow down
  •  deteriorate
  •  drop off
  •  direct
  •  degenerate
  •  settle
  •  slack off
  •  decrease
  •  diminish
  •  die down
  •  dismount
  •  downturn
  •  carry on
  •  shrink
  •  falling off
  •  carry
  •  dwindle
  •  collapse
  •  bear oneself
  •  be orderly
  •  tail off
  •  deport
  •  die out
  •  let up
  •  be on best behavior
  •  be civil
  •  devaluate
  •  abatement
  •  discipline oneself
  •  mind your p’s and q’s
  •  subside
  •  diminution

Overall, the word surge means a sudden increase. This also has specific meaning in nautical terms.

Sources:

  1. What does surge mean? | Definitions 
  2. surge: meaning, origin, translation | Word Surge 
  3. Surge synonyms – 1 819 Words and Phrases for Surge | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Surge antonyms – 643 Opposites of Surge | Power Thesaurus