Definition of surface effect in English:

surface effect

noun

  • 1An artistic or literary effect lacking depth, a superficial effect.

  • 2An effect associated with, or only encountered near, a surface; (attributive) designating an air-cushion vehicle in which the cushion is sealed by rigid side walls and flexible seals fore and aft.

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Gentleman's Magazine (Philadelphia).