surface


surface
surfaceless, adj.surfacer, n.
/serr"fis/, n., adj., v., surfaced, surfacing.
n.
1. the outer face, outside, or exterior boundary of a thing; outermost or uppermost layer or area.
2. any face of a body or thing: the six surfaces of a cube.
3. extent or area of outer face; superficial area.
4. the outward appearance, esp. as distinguished from the inner nature: to look below the surface of a matter.
5. Geom. any figure having only two dimensions; part or all of the boundary of a solid.
6. land or sea transportation, rather than air, underground, or undersea transportation.
7. Aeron. an airfoil.
adj.
8. of, on, or pertaining to the surface; external.
9. apparent rather than real; superficial: to be guilty of surface judgments.
10. of, pertaining to, or via land or sea: surface mail.
11. Ling. belonging to a late stage in the transformational derivation of a sentence; belonging to the surface structure.
v.t.
12. to finish the surface of; give a particular kind of surface to; make even or smooth.
13. to bring to the surface; cause to appear openly: Depth charges surfaced the sub. So far we've surfaced no applicants.
v.i.
14. to rise to the surface: The submarine surfaced after four days.
15. to work on or at the surface.
[1605-15; < F, equiv. to sur- SUR-1 + face FACE, appar. modeled on L superficies SUPERFICIES]

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I
In geometry, a two-dimensional collection of points (flat surface), a three-dimensional collection of points whose cross section is a curve (curved surface), or the boundary of any three-dimensional solid.

In general, a surface is a continuous boundary dividing a three-dimensional space into two regions. For example, the surface of a sphere separates the interior from the exterior; a horizontal plane separates the half-plane above it from the half-plane below. Surfaces are often called by the names of the regions they enclose, but a surface is essentially two-dimensional and has an area, while the region it encloses is three-dimensional and has a volume. The attributes of surfaces, and in particular the idea of curvature, are investigated in differential geometry.
II
Outermost layer of a material or substance.

Because the particles (atoms or molecules) on the surface have nearest neighbours beside and below but not above, the physical and chemical properties of a surface differ from those of the bulk material; surface chemistry is thus a branch of physical chemistry. The growth of crystals, the actions of catalysts and detergents, and the phenomena of adsorption, surface tension, and capillarity are aspects of behaviour at surfaces. The appearance of the surface, whether achieved with electroplating, paint, oxidation-reduction, bleaching (see bleach), or another means, is aesthetically important.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • surface — [ syrfas ] n. f. • 1611; superface 1521; lat. superficies → superficie; de sur et face 1 ♦ Partie extérieure (d un corps), qui le limite en tous sens. ⇒ face. La surface de la Terre, la surface terrestre. À la surface du sol. « une surface pure… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Surface — Sur face , n. [F. See {Sur }, and {Face}, and cf. {Superficial}.] 1. The exterior part of anything that has length and breadth; one of the limits that bound a solid, esp. the upper face; superficies; the outside; as, the surface of the earth; the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surface — [sʉr′fis] n. [Fr < sur (see SUR 1) + face,FACE, based on L superficies] 1. a) the outer face, or exterior, of an object b) any of the faces of a solid c) the area or extent of such a face …   English World dictionary

  • surface — 1610s, from Fr. surface outermost boundary of anything, outside part (16c.), from O.Fr. sur above + face (see FACE (Cf. face)). Patterned on L. superficies surface (see SUPERFICIAL (Cf. superficial)). The verb meaning come to the surface is first …   Etymology dictionary

  • surface — ► NOUN 1) the outside part or uppermost layer of something. 2) the upper limit of a body of liquid. 3) outward appearance as distinct from less obvious aspects. ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to or occurring on the surface. 2) (of transportation) by sea …   English terms dictionary

  • Surface — Sur face, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Surfaced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Surfacing}.] 1. To give a surface to; especially, to cause to have a smooth or plain surface; to make smooth or plain. [1913 Webster] 2. To work over the surface or soil of, as ground, in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • surface — [adj] external apparent, covering, depthless, exterior, facial, outer, outside, outward, shallow, shoal, superficial, top; concepts 485,583 Ant. central, core, inside, interior, middle surface [n] external part of something area, cover, covering …   New thesaurus

  • surface — Surface. subst. f. L exterieur, le dehors d un corps. Surface platte, unie, raboteuse. la surface de la terre …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Surface — Sur face, v. i. 1. To rise from the depths of a liquid to the surface; as, the submarine surfaced to recharge its batteries. [PJC] 2. To become known or public; said of information. [PJC] 3. To show up, as a person who was in hiding; as, he… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Surface — (fr., spr. Sürfahs), die Oberfläche …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • surface — index bare, cursory, dimension, emerge, issue (send forth), ostensible, side, superficial …   Law dictionary


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